Ray Willsey (born September 30, 1928) was the head football coach at the University of California from 1964 to 1971.[1] During his tenure he compiled a 40-42-1 record.[2] He was inducted into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.[3]

Willsey was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and played defensive back and quarterback at Tustin High School and Santa Ana College. He played for the California Bears, helping the Bears win 26-0 against Stanford in 1952. He graduated from the University of California in 1953 with a degree in business.[4] He played for three years for the Edmonton Eskimos in Canada, but his playing career was ended by an elbow injury.[3] His first assistant coaching job was at the age of 28 with the Washington Redskins, then he was an assistant coach at the University of Texas in the late '50s.[3] His first NFL position was at defensive coordinator with the Saint Louis Cardinals in 1961,[3] where he went 2-0. After heading the coaching for California from 1964 to 1971, when he resigned, he rejoined the Cardinals. He moved to the Oakland Raiders in 1977 as backfield coach.[3] In 1988, he served as head coach of the Los Angeles Cobras during that team's only year of existence in the Arena Football League, in which his team compiled a 5-6-1 record.[3][5] He was defensive coach of the London Monarchs when they won the World League title in 1991,[3] and he became their head coach in 1992.[6] He was defensive coordinator for the Scottish Claymores in the mid-90s,[7] and became director of personnel for NFL Europe in 1996.[8][9] He was awarded the Glenn T. Seaborg Award in 2002.[4]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
California Golden Bears (Pacific-8 Conference) (1964–1971)
1964 California 3-7 0-4 8th
1965 California 5-5 2-3 T-5th
1966 California 3-7 2-3 5th
1967 California 5-5 2-3 6th
1968 California 7-3-1 2-2-1 T-3rd
1969 California 5-5 2-4 6th
1970 California 6-5 4-3 T-2nd
1971 California 6-5 4-3 T-3rd
California: 40-42-1
Total: 40-42-1 (.488)
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. Sargis, Joe (19 January 1972). "After Eight Seasons .Ray Willsey Quits Cal; White Considers 2 Jobs .". Ellensburg Daily Record. http://news.google.co.uk/newspapers?id=PDUQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=1Y4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4734,841569. Retrieved 22 December 2009.[dead link]
  2. Boyles, Bob; Paul Guido (2008). "California". The USA Today College Football Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Modern Reference to America's Most Colorful Sport, 1953-Present. Skyhorse Publishing Inc.. ISBN 1-60239-331-1. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Rykyvd8b-AwC&pg=PA857.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Weyler, John (4 December 1993). "Willsey Traces His Roots of Success to Old Coach". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1993-12-04/sports/sp-63827_1_head-coach. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Ray Willsey to Receive Glenn Seaborg Award". CalBears.com. 27 September 2002. http://www.calbears.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/092702aaa.html. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  5. White, Lonnie (17 March 1988). "Ray Willsey Will Coach L.A.'s Cobras". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1988-03-17/sports/sp-1980_1_arena-football. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  6. Newswire (10 January 1992). "Names in the News". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1992-01-10/sports/sp-1821_1_head-coach. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  7. Davidson, Mike (22 June 1996). "Keller spreads gridiron gospel". Daily Herald. http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/keller-spreads-gridiron-gospel-1.449309. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  8. "NFL Europa history". NFL. http://www.nfl.com/europa/history. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  9. Bush, David (25 December 2004). "'Bear Minimum' was one tough act". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2004/12/25/SPGA8AGMCL1.DTL. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
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