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Harold "Tubby" Raymond
University of Delaware
With the 2000 season, Tubby Raymond began his seventh decade of coaching football. Just think about that for a minute. Seven decades of coaching.
How, you ask, does someone last that long? There can be only one explanation. Tubby Raymond loves his work. Coaching isn't what he does. Coaching is what he is and what has made him an institution at the University of Delaware.
The 74-year-old Raymond was named the Maxwell Football Club's Tri-State Coach of the Year. The award, now in its third year, honors a local high school or college coach who inspires his players to succeed at the next level, be that football or the business world.
Proof of Raymond's influence is Rich Gannon, this year's Bert Bell Award winner as Pro Football Player of the Year. Gannon, who quarterbacked the Oakland Raiders to the AFC Championship Game, played for Raymond at Delaware before graduating to the NFL.
"It's certainly very pleasing to know that I've been able to coach in seven decades," said Raymond, who started as an assistant coach at University High School in Ann Arbor, MI, in 1949. "It really means a lot to me. There have never been two years alike. The only thing that is the same is the football and the 100 yards that you play on. The players and people are what has made it totally unique."
Raymond just completed his 35th season as head coach at Delaware and ran his career record to 293 wins, 113 losses and three ties. Only three active coaches, at any level, have more victories than Raymond and they are Bobby Bowden of Florida State, Joe Paterno of Penn State and John Gagliardi of St. John's-Minnesota.
In his remarkable career at Delaware, Raymond has won three national titles (1971, '72 and '79) and 13 Lambert Cup Eastern Championships. He has led the Blue Hens to 11 NCAA 1-AA tournament appearances and eight ECAC Team of the Year Awards. This past season, Delaware was again ranked second in Division 1-AA.
Raymond, a native of Flint, MI, was a quarterback and linebacker at the University of Michigan. It was there, playing for coach Fritz Crisler, that Raymond learned the Wing-T offense which he later installed at Delaware. He has written five books on the subject, as well as producing several instructional videos.
Raymond came to Delaware as an assistant to head coach Dave Nelson in 1954. He succeeded Nelson as head coach in 1966 and since then, his teams have produced 31 winning seasons in 35 years. Raymond is currently on a streak of 13 consecutive winning seasons.
Over the years, Raymond had offers to coach at Syracuse, Maryland, Arizona, Iowa and Army. Marv Levy twice tried to hire him, once when Levy was coaching at the University of California and again when he was with the Kansas City Chiefs. But Raymond was content to stay with what he calls his "family" at Delaware.
"I always felt that to call Delaware football a 'program' was a real injustice," Raymond said. "Virtually everyone has a football program. But ours has become a football family with a great deal of warmth. It starts with the team and the coaches and spills out to our great fans who are always here for us. It's a great atmosphere to be around and something very special."