Ray Morrison

Category:
1970 - 1979 Inductees
Year Honored:
1970
University:
Vanderbilt University, Southern Methodist University, Temple University, Austin College

Biography

Few men have impacted college football so profoundly as both player and coach as has the great Ray Morrison. A gritty little quarterback who led the Vanderbilt Commodores from 1908 to 1911, Morrison was the first All-American player in the history of the university. During his years as a player, Vanderbilt went 30-6-2. But Morrison’s fame as a football coach was greater even than his renown as an All-American. Known as a revolutionary, he single-handedly changed the role of the forward pass in college football. Morrison’s teams were known for his “aerial assault,” using the pass as an option on any down. Although such a coaching strategy seems commonplace today, in his time, this tactic was radical. In his career, Morrison coached at four different colleges. He built his legend over fifteen seasons at Southern Methodist, where in the 1920s and early 1930s, he led his team to three conference championships. Morrison returned to his alma mater in 1935 when the legendary Head Coach Dan McGugin retired. His 1935 and 1937 teams rank among the best Vanderbilt squads of all time. Morrison retired from coaching in 1951 and went on to live another thirty-one years filled with honors and proud memories until his death in 1982. A football player through and through, Ray Morrison’s final request, faithfully carried out by his son Jack, was that some of his ashes be scattered on the fifty yard line of Ownby Stadium on the SMU campus.

Credit 1:
Morris, R.
Credit 2:
Vanderbilt University Athletic Media Relations

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