Football, Class of 2004
As quarterback of the 1948 and 1949 Santa Ana College football teams, Ray Willsey guided the Dons to a 19-2-1 record, and a pair of Eastern Conference titles and an appearance in the 1949 Junior Rose Bowl.
During the 1949 season he completed over 60 percent of his
passes (64-of-106) for 941 yards.
Following his playing days at Santa Ana, the former four-sport star from Tustin High School, transferred to the University of California, Berkeley and played for the legendary football coach Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf.
He later played two years of Canadian Football for the Edmonton Eskimos, the second year as a player/coach. In 1954 he returned to Berkeley where he began his coaching career as an assistant. In 1956, Willsey joined Darrell Royal’s coaching staff at the University of Washington and followed Royal to the University of Texas and helped turn the Longhorns into a national power.
Willsey moved to the NFL ranks for two season in the early 1960’s as an assistant for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Redskins before returning to Cal where served as the head coach from 1964-1971. During his time as head coach of the Golden Bears he compiled a career record of 40-42-1 (.488) and led the 1970 team to a second place finish in the PAC-8.
In 1978, Willsey joined the Oakland Raiders coaching staff as backfield coach and was instrumental in the Raiders winning two Super Bowl Rings. After nine years with Oakland, Willsey relocated to London where he coached the London Monarchs to a World League Championship in 1991. Today, he is still active in football working with the NFL World Football League, based in New York.