Honors & Awards

  • 1984 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame
  • 1929 First-Team All-American
  • 1929 All-Big Six Selection

Ray Richards was born on July, 16 1906 in Liberty, Nebraska and passed away in Brea, California on September 18, 1974.

Ray Richards was born in Liberty, Nebraska in 1906 and like many Nebraska born football players he would play at the University of Nebraska. Richards was Nebraska’s fifth First-Team All-American, after Vic Halligan (1914), Guy Chamberlin (1915), Ed Weir (1924-25), and Dan McMullen (1928). Richards was also a First-Team All-Big Six selection in 1929. For his contribution to Nebraska football, Richards would be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

After his career at Nebraska, Richards would continue is playing career with the NFL’s Frankford Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets would disband in 1931 and Richards would go on to play two seasons under legendary coach George Halas with the Chicago Bears. Richards would next play for the Detroit Lions before heading back to Chicago for another year. Richards NFL career ended after two season’s at a player-coach with the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the fledgling American Football League, the team finished undefeated in Richards last year.

While in the NFL Richards became famous for a move, that has since been outlawed, call the “lift”. Richards would hit the opposing center as the center snapped the ball. Because of moves like this, Richards was able to purse a wrestling career in the off-season.

Richards continued in football after his playing days when on April 5, 1937 he was appointed line coach at UCLA. While at UCLA Richards would coach under three different head coaches and was part of two Bruin squads that competed in the Rose Bowl.

Richards resigned his position at UCLA on December 11, 1947 and took a similar position at PepperdineUniversity in 1948. After just one season working with the line, Richards was promoted to head coach. Due to budget cuts, Richards was let go on January 19, 1951, but was able to find work as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Rams. In Richards first season with the Rams, the team won the NFL championship, but then dropped a first-round playoff game in 1952 after head coach Joe Stydahar was fired early in the season.

Richards’s next stop on the coaching circuit was with the Baltimore Colts on January 12, 1952. Because of a 3-9 season, Richards’s tenure would not last long and he would join the Chicago Cardinals, reuniting him with Stydahar.

The team would only win two of 12 games and with a 3-20-1 record under Stydahar, he was let go and Richards was promoted to head coach. Richards would stick with the team until January 4, 1958 when he resigned.

Richards’s last stop would be 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.

After coaching Richards would serve as a vice pressing of Pemaco, Inc., a Los Angeles based chemical company.