Buford “Baby” Ray

1980 - 1989 Inductees
Year Honored:
Vanderbilt University
Green Bay Packers


Six feet, six inches tall and 260 pounds might be average for a football lineman by today’s standards, but in the 1930s and 1940s, a man that size was nothing less than a giant. Buford “Baby” Ray was such a man. His football career as a player began at Nashville Central High, flowered at Vanderbilt, and peaked with the Green Bay Packers. Regarded as one of the first “big men” in SEC history, Ray played both offense and defense at left tackle, and during his Commodore career, he beat Tennessee two of his three games (1935-1937). At Green Bay, Ray was on two world championship Packer teams. A member of Collier’s All-Pro Team for three years, he earned a spot on the NFL All-1940 Decade Team. In 1972 he was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame. Upon completion of his playing career, Ray joined the Vanderbilt coaching staff and served in various assignments under four head coaches. Among other accomplishments, he was a member of the coaching staff for Vandy’s first bowl game (Gator Bowl, 1955) and was the first full-time football recruiter in the school’s history. Ray finally returned to Green Bay, where he was a regional personnel director for the Packers before his death in 1986. A “gentle giant,” Buford “Baby” Ray was, in the words of retired sports editor Raymond Johnson, “one of Vanderbilt’s all-time great football players… a man of great integrity and dedication.”

Credit 1:
Buford, D.
Credit 2:
Vanderbilt University Athletic Media Relations

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