Ray McLean

Raymond Tuttle "Scooter" McLean (December 6, 1915 – March 4, 1964) was an American football player and coach at both the collegiate and professional levels, He was a member of four NFL championship teams with the Chicago Bears in 1940, 1941, 1943, & 1946. He may be best remembered for preceding Vince Lombardi as head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1958.[1]

Ray McLean
Personal information
Born:December 6, 1915
Lowell, Massachusetts
Died:March 4, 1964 (aged 48)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:168 lb (76 kg)
Career information
High school:Ashburnham (MA) Cushing
College:St. Anselm (NH)
NFL Draft:1940 / Round: 21 / Pick: 192
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Head coaching record
Career:1–10–1 (1958)
Coaching stats at PFR

Early years

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts and raised Concord, New Hampshire, McLean went to prep school at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, then played both football and basketball in New Hampshire at St. Anselm College in Goffstown.

Playing career

He was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 21st round of the 1940 NFL Draft and played eight years with the team, and also found time during the offseason to play semipro baseball. His real last name is "MacLean," and was changed because the press consistently misspelled it.

Common for the era, McLean played on both sides of the ball, catching 103 passes for over 2,200 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also gaining 412 yards via the running game. On defense, he intercepted 18 opponent tosses, while his special teams work also sparkled with three punt returns for touchdowns, one an 89-yard dash against the crosstown Chicago Cardinals. In his final season in 1947, he also was the team's kicker.

Coaching career

Lewis College

On March 3, 1948, McLean signed a contract to serve as head coach of Lewis College in Lockport, Illinois, southwest of Chicago. To supplement his income during that first year, he also served as an assistant coach with the Chicago Rockets of the All-America Football Conference. During his first two seasons at Lewis, McLean's teams completely dominated, outscoring opponents 548–80 while compiling a 14–2 record. In 1950, the school moved to the much stronger Midlands Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, but McLean left after that campaign to become an assistant with the Packers in 1951.

Green Bay Packers

Working under second-year head coach Gene Ronzani, McLean watched the Packers struggle with a 3–9 mark in 1951, but then improved by three games the following year. However, after winning just twice in ten games in 1953, Ronzani resigned following a Thanksgiving Day loss at Detroit, with two games remaining.[2] McLean and fellow Packer assistant Hugh Devore completed the season as co-head coaches; Green Bay lost both road games in California to extend the season's losing streak to five games and finish at 2–9–1.

McLean was the only assistant retained in 1954 by new head coach Lisle Blackbourn and returned to his role as the backfield coach. The Packers won four games in 1954 and were a .500 team in 1955, but a 17–31 (.354) record over four seasons led to another coaching change in Green Bay after the 1957 season, their first in the new City Stadium (renamed Lambeau Field in 1965). On January 6, Blackbourn was fired and the 42-year-old McLean was immediately elevated to the top position for 1958, but with only a one-year contract.[3][4] Unfortunately, the team bottomed-out under his leadership, which included players deciding how they should discipline themselves. The Packers finished the season with a franchise-worst 1–10–1 (.125) record, with a roster laden with future All-Pro and hall of fame players. McLean's contract expired on December 31 and he resigned days after the conclusion of the season,[5][6][7] which opened the way for the hiring of Lombardi in January 1959.

Detroit Lions

McLean immediately found work as an assistant with the Detroit Lions,[6][8] under former Bears teammate George Wilson, and served in that role for the next five years. Wilson, his road roommate in Chicago, had offered the job a year earlier before McLean became the head coach.[5]


Midway through the 1963 season, McLean entered an Ann Arbor hospital and was diagnosed with cancer; he died several months later at the age of 48, leaving a wife and four children.[1] He was buried in Michigan at Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Novi.

McLean is also remembered as being one of the last players to perform a drop-kick, in 1941. It was more than six decades later before another occurrence was seen: New England Patriots' quarterback Doug Flutie kicked one against the Miami Dolphins at the end of the regular season on January 1, 2006. (The last time a drop kick was successfully attempted for a field goal was by Earl "Dutch" Clark.)


  1. ^ a b "McLean, ex-Packer coach, dies". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 5, 1964. p. 2, part 2.
  2. ^ "Ronzani out; aides handle Packers". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. November 28, 1953. p. 3, part 2.
  3. ^ Lea, Bud (January 7, 1958). "Liz out! McLean Packer coach". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2, part 2.
  4. ^ "Blackbourn is fired; McLean new coach". Milwaukee Journal. January 7, 1958. p. 13, part 2.
  5. ^ a b "Packers shake up front office; McLean quits, Detroit Lions next?". Milwaukee Journal. December 17, 1958. p. 18, part 2.
  6. ^ a b "McLean quits, joins Lions staff". Milwaukee Sentinel. December 18, 1958. p. 8, part 2.
  7. ^ "McLean quits Green Bay, accepts post with Detroit". Victoria Advocate. Associated Press. December 18, 1958. p. 12.
  8. ^ Johnson, Chuck (December 18, 1958). "McLean quits Packers; all insist he was not 'pushed'". Milwaukee Journal. p. 18, part 2.

External links

1953 Green Bay Packers season

The 1953 Green Bay Packers season was their 35th season overall and their 33rd in the National Football League. The club posted a 2–9–1 record under head coach Gene Ronzani and interim co-coaches Ray McLean, and Hugh Devore, and finished last in the newly named Western Conference.

Fourth-year head coach Ronzani led the team for the first ten games, but resigned after a nationally televised Thanksgiving Day loss, his eighth loss to the Detroit Lions in four seasons; McLean and Devore co-coached the last two games of the season, both losses.

It was the only in-season coaching change in Packers history, until 2018. This season also marked the first season that the Packers played at the recently completed Milwaukee County Stadium.

1953 NFL season

The 1953 NFL season was the 34th regular season of the National Football League. The names of the American and National conferences were changed to the Eastern and Western conferences.

Meanwhile, a Baltimore, Maryland, group headed by Carroll Rosenbloom was granted an NFL team, and was awarded the holdings of the defunct Dallas Texans organization. The new team was named the Baltimore Colts, after the previous team that folded after the 1950 season. The 12 teams of this NFL season continued for the rest of the 1950s; these teams became known as "old-line" teams as they predated the 1960 launch of the American Football League.

The 1953 season ended on December 27 with the NFL championship game; the Detroit Lions defeated the Cleveland Browns for the second year in a row.

1957 Green Bay Packers season

The 1957 Green Bay Packers season was their 39th season overall and their 37th season in the National Football League. After an opening win, the club posted a 3–9 record under fourth-year head coach Lisle Blackbourn and finished last in the Western Conference. It was Blackbourn's final season at Green Bay, who was replaced by Ray McLean in January 1958 for just one year, succeeded by Vince Lombardi in 1959.

The 1957 season also marked the Packers' move from City Stadium to new City Stadium, which was opened with a win over the Chicago Bears in week one on September 29. It was renamed Lambeau Field in August 1965 in memory of Packers founder, player, and long-time head coach, Curly Lambeau, who had died two months earlier.

1958 Green Bay Packers season

The 1958 Green Bay Packers season was their 40th season overall and their 38th season in the National Football League. The club posted a 1–10–1 record under first-year head coach Ray McLean for a last-place finish in the league in 1958 and the worst record ever posted by a Packers team.

In the immortal words of New York sportswriter and Green Bay native Red Smith: "they overwhelmed one opponent, under-whelmed ten, and whelmed one." The tie came in week two and the three-point win in week five; during the seven-game losing streak to end the season the Packers lost by an average margin of over 22 points and got no closer than ten. The Packers finished 1958 allowing a league-worst 382 points in the 12-game season (31.8 points per game).

McLean was the top assistant on the coaching staff in 1957 and was given a one-year contract as head coach after Lisle Blackbourn was fired in early January 1958 with a year remaining ($25,000) on a five-year contract. Following the final game of the 1958 season, McLean resigned on December 17, which paved the way for the historic hiring of Vince Lombardi in January 1959.The underachieving 1958 team was loaded with talent, with future hall of famers Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke, Jim Ringo, Forrest Gregg, and Jerry Kramer, as well as future All-Pros Ron Kramer, Max McGee, Bill Forester, and Dan Currie.

1958 NFL season

The 1958 NFL season was the 39th regular season of the National Football League.

The Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants, 23–17, in the first sudden-death overtime in an NFL Championship Game. The game became known to American football fans as "The Greatest Game Ever Played."

Forrest Gregg

Alvis Forrest Gregg (born October 18, 1933) is a former American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL), the Canadian Football League and the NCAA. A Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman for sixteen seasons, he was a part of six NFL championships, five of them with the Green Bay Packers before closing out his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys with a win in Super Bowl VI. Gregg was later the head coach of three NFL teams (Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Packers), as well as two Canadian Football League teams (Toronto Argonauts and Shreveport Pirates).

As a head coach, he led the 1981 Bengals to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the 49ers by a score of 26-21.

Gene Ronzani

Eugene A. "Gene" Ronzani (March 28, 1909 – September 12, 1975) was a professional football player and coach in the National Football League. He was the second head coach of the Green Bay Packers, from 1950 to 1953, and resigned with two games remaining in the 1953 season.

A three-sport athlete at Marquette University, Ronzani earned nine varsity letters in college and was a backfield player in the NFL with the Chicago Bears for six seasons in the 1930s and two more in the mid-1940s.

Hugh Devore

Hugh John Devore (November 25, 1910 – December 8, 1992) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Providence College (1938–1941), the University of Notre Dame (1945 and 1963), St. Bonaventure University (1946–1949), New York University,(1950–1952), and the University of Dayton (1954–1955), compiling a career college football coaching record of 58–65–7. Devore was also the head coach for Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL), tallying a mark of 7–18–1. He played college football at Notre Dame as an end from 1931 to 1933.

Joe Philbin

Joseph Anthony Philbin (born July 2, 1961) is an American football coach of the National Football League (NFL). He was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, a position he held from 2012 to 2015. Philbin was also the offensive coordinator of the Packers from 2007 to 2011, helping them win Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Most recently, Philbin served as interim head coach of the Green Bay Packers for the final four games of the 2018 NFL season after serving as the offensive coordinator for the first part of the season.

Leading Teams

Leading Teams is an Australian training company focused on leadership and performance in the fields of athletics, business, government, and education. The company's services revolve around their Performance Improvement Program, which involves leadership development, team development and culture change.

Founding Director, Ray McLean, began a pilot program in 1992 involving the Central District Football Club in South Australia. The team’s improved performance created interest among the club’s corporate partners who became interested in what the team development and culture change programs could achieve in their organisations. Other teams followed suit.McLean also re-oriented the program framework to address the various corporate objectives and was able to apply the principles of the model in a business environment.Since then, Leading Teams has expanded to having eleven full-time facilitators with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart.A partial listing of the company's partners/facilitators include Simon Fletcher, Darren Harris, Daniel Healy, Justin Peckett, and Jim Plunkett.

Lisle Blackbourn

Lisle William "Liz" Blackbourn (June 3, 1899 – June 14, 1983) was an American football coach in Wisconsin, most notably as the third head coach of the Green Bay Packers, from 1954 through 1957, and the final head coach at Marquette University in Milwaukee in 1960.

List of Green Bay Packers head coaches

There have been 15 head coaches for the Green Bay Packers, a professional American football team of the National Football League (NFL). The franchise was founded in 1919 by Curly Lambeau and competed for two years against teams around Wisconsin and Michigan before entering into the American Professional Football Association, which is now known as the NFL.

Four different coaches have won NFL championships with the Packers: Earl Louis "Curly" Lambeau in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, and 1944; Vince Lombardi in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, and 1967; Mike Holmgren in 1996; and Mike McCarthy in 2010. Lambeau is the franchise leader in career games (334) and career wins (209), while Lombardi has the best winning percentage (.754). Ray (Scooter) McLean has the worst winning percentage (.077). Four Packers coaches—Lambeau, Lombardi, Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg—have been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, although Starr and Gregg are recognized as players. Lombardi and Lindy Infante have both been named the league's coach of the year by major news organizations.

As of January 2019, the head coach of the Green Bay Packers is Matt LaFleur, who was named to that position after Mike McCarthy was fired during the 2018 NFL season.

List of Green Bay Packers seasons

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Since their founding in 1919 by Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the Packers have played over 1,350 games in 100 seasons of competitive football. The first two seasons the Packers played against local teams in and around Wisconsin. In 1921, they became part of the American Professional Football Association, the precursor to the National Football League (NFL). In their 99 seasons, the Packers have won 13 professional American football championships (the most in NFL history), including nine NFL Championships and four Super Bowls. They have captured 18 divisional titles, eight conference championships, and recorded the second most regular season (738) and overall victories (772) of any NFL franchise, behind the Chicago Bears.

The franchise has experienced three major periods of continued success in their history. The first period of success came from 1929–1944, when the Packers were named NFL Champions six times. This period saw the Packers become the first dynasty of American football (1929–1931). The second period of success was between 1960–1967, where the Packers won five NFL Championships and the first two Super Bowls. The Packers also won three consecutive NFL Championships for the second time in franchise history (1965–1967). The most recent period of success ranges from 1993–present, where the franchise has reached the playoffs 19 times, including three Super Bowl appearances, winning two in 1996 and 2010. This period included the 2011 season, where the team won 15 games, the most the Packers have won in a single season.

The Packers have also experienced periods of extended failure in their history. The two most notable times were from 1945–1958, where the franchise never placed higher than 3rd in the league standings and recorded the worst record of any Packers team, going 1–10–1 in 1958. The second period of continued failure occurred between 1968–1991, where the club only went to the playoffs twice, and recorded only six winning seasons.

The 2018 NFL season is the Packers 100th season of competitive football and 98th season as part of the NFL.

Matt LaFleur

Matthew LaFleur (born November 14, 1979) is an American football coach who is the head coach for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He has spent time as quarterbacks coach of the Washington Redskins and the Atlanta Falcons and as offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams and the Tennessee Titans.

Mike McCarthy (American football)

Michael John McCarthy (born November 10, 1963) is an American football coach. He was the head coach of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) from 2006 to 2018, leading them to a win in Super Bowl XLV over his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was previously the offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.

Phil Bengtson

John Phillip Bengtson (July 17, 1913 – December 18, 1994) was an American football player and coach. He was a longtime assistant coach in college football and the National Football League (NFL), chiefly remembered as the successor to Vince Lombardi as head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1968.

Ray McLean (fullback)

Raymond John McLean (September 13, 1897 – October 1967) was a fullback in the National Football League. He played with the Green Bay Packers during the 1921 NFL season.

Ray Rhodes

Raymond Earl Rhodes (born October 20, 1950) is a former American football coach. He served as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL), as well as the former assistant defensive backs coach of the Houston Texans. He earned five Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers, and was named Coach of the Year by The Associated Press in 1995, his first season as Eagles head coach. He last served as the senior defensive assistant for the Cleveland Browns.

Ray Richards

Raymond W. Richards (July 16, 1906 – September 18, 1974) was an American football player and coach on both the college and professional levels, including head coach for the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL).

Richards was an All-American lineman at the University of Nebraska from 1927 to 1929, then joined the NFL's Frankford Yellow Jackets in 1930. During his playing days, he became known for a notorious move that has since been outlawed: the "lift", in which Richards used his elbow to hit the opposing center as he snapped the ball. Moves such as that helped him in his off-season pursuit of wrestling, an endeavor that saw him travel across the country competing in matches.

Richards played two seasons with the Yellow Jackets until the team disbanded in 1931, then he shifted to Chicago, where he played another two seasons with George Halas's Bears. In 1934, he moved on to play a season with the Detroit Lions, who had just moved from their previous home in Portsmouth, Ohio. After a final season with the Bears the next year, Richards headed west to serve as a player-coach for two seasons with the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the fledgling American Football League, helping the team finish undefeated during his second year.

On April 5, 1937, he was appointed line coach at UCLA, where he served under three different head coaches over the next decade. In an era marked by the looming specter of World War II, Richards was part of two Bruin squads that competed in the Rose Bowl. He resigned on December 11, 1947, and took a similar position in 1948 at nearby Pepperdine University.

One season working with the Waves' linemen led to Richards's promotion to head coach on April 26, 1949. After two seasons in that capacity, he was let go on January 19, 1951 due to budget cuts, but found work seven weeks later as an assistant with the NFL's Los Angeles Rams. During his first year working under close friend Joe Stydahar, the team captured the NFL championship, but then dropped a first-round playoff game in 1952 after Stydahar was fired early in the season.

Richards was dismissed after the season, but was hired by the Baltimore Colts on January 12, 1953. When Stydahar was named head coach of the Chicago Cardinals just weeks later, he attempted to bring Richards along, but NFL commissioner Bert Bell stopped this effort, citing Richards's signed contract with the Colts.

After a disastrous campaign in which the Colts finished 3–9, Richards was among the coaches let go, allowing him to join the Cardinals' staff. The 1954 campaign proved to be even worse as the team won just two of 12 games, giving them a 3–20–1 record under Stydahar's leadership.

That lack of success resulted in a coaching change on June 2, 1955, when Stydahar was fired and Richards was elevated to head coach. Following a 4–7–1 season, the team appeared to be improving with a 7–5 mark in 1956. However, a 3–9 season the year after made another coaching change inevitable, and Richards resigned on January 4, 1958. Among the reasons Richards was unable to fashion a winner was his insistence on playing quarterback Lamar McHan, whose lack of leadership skills were often cited as the team's weak spot.

Richards's last stop came one month later when he was hired as defensive assistant under Ray McLean with the Green Bay Packers. However, a 1–10–1 finish in the 1958 season resulted in Richards announcing his retirement from coaching.

In his post-football career, Richards served as a vice president of Pemaco, Inc., a Los Angeles-based chemical company. He died of lung cancer in Brea, California at the age of 68.

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