Former Husky Assistant Football Coach Ray Dorr Passes Away
March 1, 2001
College Station, TX - Longtime football coach Ray Dorr passed away early Thursday morning (Mar. 1) after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Funeral services are set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 3, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in College Station. (2541 Highway 6 South, College Station, TX, phone 979-693-6994). A fellowship will follow the services at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to either the Ray Dorr Scholarship Fund (c/o 12th Man Foundation, PO Drawer L-1, College Station, TX 77844, phone 979-260-7583) or Hospice Brazos Valley (205 East 29th, Bryan, TX 77803, phone 979-776-0793).
Dorr, 59, coached 33 years on the collegiate level with stops at Texas A&M, Kentucky, USC, Washington, Kent State and Akron. At each school, he was in charge of the quarterbacks and developed some of the country's best.
Dorr tutored NFL quarterbacks such as Warren Moon, Tom Flick, Steve Pelluer, Chris Chandler, Hugh Millen, Rodney Peete, Todd Marinovich and Rob Johnson.
The only time in his career when he was not an assistant coach was a four-year stint as the head coach at Southern Illinois University (1984-87).
He retired from on-the-field coaching after the 1999 season. Dorr served as special assistant to Texas A&M Head Football Coach R.C. Slocum since the 1999 Alamo Bowl.
'Our thoughts and prayers are with Karen, Stephen and David,' Slocum said. 'Words alone cannot express the great admiration I have for Ray Dorr. In collegiate athletics we talk to our players about overcoming adversity and handling the tough times. Ray Dorr was a testimony to great courage and he was a pillar of strength. He touched so many lives. Besides being one of the very best coaches in the business, he was an even better person. You could not meet Ray Dorr without coming away blessed. He will truly be missed.'
Dorr was presented the 1999 Broyles Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is presented to assistant coaches who have made significant contributions during their collegiate coaching careers. The panel of coaches who selected Dorr reads as a Who's Who in College Football: former Baylor Coach Grant Teaff, who is currently Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association, former Georgia Coach Vince Dooley, former Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler, former Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne, former Syracuse Coach Dick MacPherson, former Texas Coach Darrell Royal, and former Washington Coach Don James.
Dorr began his coaching career at the University of Akron as a graduate assistant in 1967. He was promoted to an assistant coach in 1968 and served two years at Akron before moving on to Kent State (1971-74). His longest tenure came at the University of Washington (1975-83) under Head Coach Don James. Dorr served as quarterbacks coach for nine seasons with the Huskies.
From Washington, Dorr moved to Southern Illinois where he served as the head coach of the Salukis from 1984-87. His 1986 squad finished with a 7-4 record and a second-place finish in the Gateway Conference.
In 1988, Dorr returned to the assistant coaching ranks serving on the USC offensive staff (1988-92). From USC, he moved to Kentucky (1993-96) before he arrived at Texas A&M prior to the 1997 season. In Aggieland, Dorr tutored the quarterbacks and helped the Aggies win back-to-back Big 12 South titles (1997-98) and the 1998 Big 12 Championship Game against top-ranked Kansas State.
The disease was diagnosed in the spring of 1999. At that same time, Aggie Head Coach R.C. Slocum's youngest son, John Harvey, was going through heart surgery. In true Ray Dorr fashion, Ray did not want to burden Slocum with his ailment until after Slocum's son was cleared. Dorr stayed on as the quarterbacks coach for the 1999 season.
'He did not miss one meeting and still kept putting in the 14-hour days,' Slocum said. 'Ray was teaching everyone how to approach a terrible disease, in a positive manner.'
Dorr, affectionately known as the 'Mad Professor', was always meticulous in everything he pursued. A tireless worker who was known for his sincerity.
'Coach Dorr always had us prepared, not only for football, but for life,' Aggie quarterback Mark Farris said. 'He was an outstanding teacher and a true friend. He was always so easy to talk to about anything. He truly loved his players. I know all of the quarterbacks and players who have been around Coach Dorr wanted him to know how much we loved him as well.'
During the past year, Dorr and his wife, Karen, would host the quarterbacks in a weekly Bible study.
Before Dorr became a football coach, he was a three-year starter as a quarterback at West Virginia Wesleyan where he compiled a 19-6-2 record. He graduated in 1965 with a bachelor of science degree in history and physical education from West Virginia Wesleyan. He earned a master's degree in athletic administration from the University of Akron in 1968.
Dorr was a four-sport standout at McKinley High School in Sebring, Ohio. He graduated from high school in 1961.
Dorr was born Nov. 2, 1941 in Salem, Ohio. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and two sons, Stephen (27) and David (23). Stephen is a coach at Cedar Hill High School in the Dallas area and David is a student at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Dorr has one sister, Lynn Clayton, from Sebring, Ohio.