UD loses a leg­end

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

Harold R. “Tubby” Ray­mond, the hall of fame foot­ball coach who led the Blue Hens to 300 wins and pi­o­neered the Delaware Wing-T of­fense, died Dec. 8. He was 92.

“Coach Ray­mond was a true icon and his legacy lives on among all Blue Hens,” Ath­letic Di­rec­tor Chrissi Rawak said in a pre­pared state­ment. “We cer­tainly re­mem­ber all the great ac­com­plish­ments that Coach Ray­mond pro­vided Delaware fans over the years, but more im­por­tantly we cel­e­brate the im­pact he had on the lives of so many stu­dent-ath­letes.”

A na­tive of Flint, Mich., Ray­mond played foot­ball and base­ball for the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan. After grad­u­at­ing in 1950, he com­pleted coach­ing stints at a Michi­gan high school and the Uni­ver­sity of Maine be­fore com­ing to the Uni­ver­sity of Delaware to serve as an as­sis­tant coach un­der head coach Dave Nel­son.

He took over the helm of the Blue Hens in 1966 and re­mained the head coach for 36 sea­sons. In that time, he ac­cu­mu­lated a record of 300-119-3 and won three na­tional ti­tles, six At­lantic 10 con­fer­ence cham­pi­onships, four Board­walk Bowls and 14 Lam­bert Cups.

Ray­mond earned his 300th win Nov. 10, 2001, when the Blue Hens de­feated Rich­mond 10-6 in their fi­nal home game of the sea­son. He re­tired that win­ter.

“Noth­ing lasts for­ever, and so it is with me,” Ray­mond said when an­nounc­ing his re­tire­ment. “I knew even­tu­ally it would be time to leave and this just seemed like the ap­pro­pri­ate time. This was a very dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion for me. I’ve coached foot­ball for 52 years and to sud­denly re­move that from your life is a very emo­tional thing.”

How­ever, Ray­mond re­mained deeply con­nected to the team, reg­u­larly at­tend­ing Blue Hens games un­til very re­cently.

The year after he re­tired, UD named the field after him as he passed the coach­ing reins to K.C. Keeler, who played on Ray­mond’s 1979 cham­pi­onship team.

He was in­ducted into the Col­lege Foot­ball Hall of Fame in 2003.

An avid artist, Ray­mond was known for paint­ing por­traits of his se­nior play­ers and con­tin­ued that tra­di­tion after he re­tired.

“I can’t tell you how much the paint­ing has meant,” he told the Newark Post in a 2007 in­ter­view. “Hon­estly, if I had the choice of coach­ing an un­de­feated sea­son or cre­at­ing a por­trait that speaks to me, I’m fairly cer­tain I’d choose the paint­ing.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF UD ATH­LET­ICS

Tubby Ray­mond, who coached the Blue Hens for 36 sea­sons, died Dec. 8.

NEWARK POST FILE PHOTO BY DAVID MEL­LON

Tubby Ray­mond serves as hon­orary cap­tain be­fore a Blue Hens game in Novem­ber 2016.

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