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Harold “Tubby” Raymond, iconic UD football coach

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I have been fortunate to travel the country working for some of Delaware’s great companies. Wherever I introduce myself, the response is often the same: “Oh, yeah, Delaware, home of the Fightin’ Blue Hens and Tubby.” I don’t know of any citizen, with the exception of our vice president, who has had a greater impact on the image and visibility of Delaware over the past 50 years. Tubby built a program at UD that has been remarkable for its success—300 wins, three national championships, 14 Lambert Cup trophies and his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame—and equally remarkable for its ideals. On Saturdays people from Maine to Florida look to the sports scores to see if the Hens won or lost. The fact is, regardless of score, we always won because the program and its ideals were as important, if not more so, than the victories. Tubby Raymond was a fierce competitor, a brilliant tactician and a leader whose voice would inspire his charges to plant the highest possible standard. There was no greater feeling than to be in the locker room before a big game, on bended knee, arm in arm with your teammates, wanting nothing more than to play with the intensity and commitment worthy of the tradition. Beginning in a low, steady voice, Tubby would remind us that we played to preserve the ideals of the program and the great men who came before. He would remind us we had an obligation to play at the highest level we could attain, to stretch and reach and imagine what we could achieve on that day. As his voice rose to a rallying crescendo, we would charge onto the field and play with an intensity that defies description. To this day his voice urges me to be all I can be. Someone once told me when Delaware was contemplating a new football facility, an administrator said, “We’re not going to spend millions to build a monument to Delaware football.” The fact is, the monument exists. It exists in the hearts and minds of every player who ever put on that winged helmet. It exists in the most loyal fan base in football. It exists in Delawareans everywhere. And it exists in large part because of one man. Thanks, Tubby. 

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