Wow, today I want to wish a very happy birthday to Harold R. “Tubby” Raymond. Tubby was born on this day in Flint, Michigan in 1926. Legend has it that Harold was a little bit too heavy in his younger years, so he gained the nickname “Tubby.” By the time Raymond enrolled at the University of Michigan, he had shed the excess weight, but not the nickname.
Tubby Raymond enrolled at the University of Michigan in the fall of 1946. He was listed on the football roster as a 5’ 9” end who weighed in at 172 pounds. He was a reserve on the freshman team and did not see any playing time at Michigan Stadium. Mr. Raymond was not listed on the 1947 football roster, but did show up again on the 1948 roster. He was listed as a guard this time and still weighed in at 172 pounds. Even though Crisler was gone, Raymond did not do enough to impress first year Head Coach Bennie Oosterbaan. Raymond remained a reserve who practiced hard, but never got into a game.
The bad news for Tubby Raymond was that he never played a down on his beloved Michigan football team. Obviously, he didn’t earn enough playing time to get a football letter which means he didn’t even get a spot in the team pictures in 1946 or 1948.
The good news for Tubby Raymond was that he had a chance to be on two Michigan football teams and learn Fritz Crisler’s famed
Single Wing Offensive System. Apparently, he was a great student of the game and he learned some valuable football lessons from Fritz Crisler and his staff. Those lessons would serve him well starting in the fall of 1949.
Harold Raymond must have been a very smart guy. He figured out that he wasn’t going to be a star on the Michigan football team, but he still had great passion for the game. So, what did he do? He got a job as an assistant football coach at old University High School in 1949. Tubby Raymond was still a student at Michigan, but now he was also Coach Raymond too! Oh, by the way, Tubby Raymond was a pretty good baseball player at Michigan and he earned a varsity letter and was honored to be the Captain of the 1949 Michigan baseball team.
Tubby Raymond graduated from Michigan in 1950 and played some minor-league baseball for a couple years. He also found time to be the Head Coach at University High School for the 1950 football season.
Harold Raymond officially began his college football coaching career when he was hired to be the line coach at the University of Maine in 1951. Raymond was hired by Dave Nelson who also played for Fritz Crisler from 1938 to 1941. After three seasons at Maine, Nelson and Raymond would move on to Delaware where Nelson became the Head Football Coach. Raymond would now be coaching the backfield in Nelson’s Wing-T Formation for the Blue Hens.
Dave Nelson and Tubby Raymond would turn Delaware into the “Michigan of the East.” The team colors were almost exactly the same as Michigan’s and Nelson brought the famous winged helmet to Delaware as well. More importantly, they perfected the Wing-T Formation that built on the Single Wing attack that both men learned from Fritz Crisler. Delaware would become a small college football power in the East for the next forty-seven years!
Tubby Raymond served as Dave Nelson’s backfield assistant from 1954 to 1965. When Nelson retired to become the full-time athletic director, Raymond became the head coach. Tubby Raymond was the head coach at Delaware from 1966 to 2001. His accomplishments are absolutely legendary! He is one of only nine men in college football history to win 300 games (300-119-3). He won three national championships, tons of playoff games, league championships, you name it! He authored many books about the famed Wing-T Formation and built a program that was recognized throughout the country for winning and doing things the right way.
I could go on and on about Harold R. “Tubby” Raymond, but it would take about a week to talk about the accomplishments of this amazing Michigan Man. You can certainly read more about him by checking out the links below. I learned a lot from the Wikipeida article so that is a good place to start.
Although Tubby Raymond did not make any significant contributions to the Michigan football program, he did great things at Delaware and for college football in general. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003. So, Happy birthday greetings are definitely in order for Harold R. “Tubby” Raymond. Thanks for being the legend that you are sir! Go Blue!