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Ray Greene passes away at 83

Ray Greene, a fixture in the north Alabama sports scene for more than 30 years, died Friday at the age of 83.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Former Alabama A&M football coach Ray Greene passed away Friday. 

Greene spent eights season as the head coach of the Bulldogs and during his time on "The Hill," Greene led A&M to four SIAC conference titles in the sport. 

Following his career on the gridiron, Greene stepped into the world of broadcasting. He served as a color analyst for various sports across the Tennessee Valley and worked with Gus Hergert in majority of those years. He also was the analyst for the ETV Game of the Week for nearly a decade.

(Profile from the Huntsville-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame)

Ray Greene was born to coach football and to help mold the lives of young people. In his long professional career, Greene has excelled at both. Born August 12, 1938 in Akron, Ohio, Greene graduated in 1956 from Akron South High School where he was an all-city and honorable mention all-state football player. Awarded a scholarship by the University of Akron, he was named the Zip’s outstanding sophomore player in 1960 and outstanding defensive player in 1962, and was picked on the All-Ohio Conference team in both 1961 and 1962. 

In 1985, Greene was voted into the Summit County Hall of Fame in an award given by the Akron Touchdown Club and the University of Akron. He holds a B.A. degree in English and Telecommunications from Akron and an M.A. in Administration and Supervision from the University of Miami. Greens says his parents, his high school coach (Gordon Larson) and the directors of the Akron Community Center, Vernon Odom and George Miller, were primarily responsible for his success in life. Odom and Miller “were the first college-educated men who took a personal interest in me,” he says. “They’re part of the reason I became a productive citizen.” In his first coaching job, Greene helped Dick Fortner rebuild the program at Kenmore High School in Akron. 

 After winning just two games the year before, Kenmore went to the state championship game in Greene’s first year. He eventually joined Johnny Majors’ staff at Iowa State, then spent two years in the World Football League before going to Michigan State. He was head coach at North Carolina Central and at Alabama A&M (twice) and also coached at Alabama State and Jackson State. Alabama A&M was a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference when Greene accepted the head coaching job in 1979. The school had won just two SIAC titles prior to Greene’s arrival. He won three in this first three years. Replaced by Ed Wyche in 1983, Greene was rehired at A&M three years later and won another conference championship a year later. In eight years under Greene, A&M won four SIAC titles.

 

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