Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Ray Graves

Ray Graves


  • Position: Coach
  • School: Florida
  • Years: 1960-1969
  • Inducted: 1990
  • Place of Birth: Knoxville, TN
  • Date of Birth: Dec 31, 1918
  • Place of Death: Clearwater, FL
  • Date of Death: Apr 10, 2015

Member Biography

Ray Graves was an instant success as a head football coach. His first year at Florida, 1960, his team won nine games, a school record. In 10 years he had a 70-31-4 record, went to five bowls, coached seven All-America players, and had one Heisman winner (Steve Spurrier). He wrote two books on football and was the originator of the "Monster Defense," an alignment now known as free safety and strong safety. Graves went a long way in football. He played center for Tennessee and was captain in 1941. For the period 1942-59 he was an assistant coach with pro and college teams. That included 13 years at Georgia Tech under Bobby Dodd, who said, "Graves is one of the greatest defensive coaches of all time, and a fine gentleman." Graves was Florida's athletic director 1971-80, then moved to Tampa as a vice-president of Steinbrenner Enterprises. He retired in 1989.