Ray Wilson

Anything and everything that is UMass Minutemen Basketball.
tom mclaughlin
Sophomore
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Andover Ma

Ray Wilson

Post by tom mclaughlin » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:18 pm

Sad news to pass on. Ray Wilson passed away and Al Skinner called to let me know. Al told me Ray
was 84. Ray was a terrific person and had an amazing wife, Gloria. Ray was the one along with Pete Broaca that helped build the UMass basketball program. He was a gentleman and I can see Jack, Ray and
Pete walking the Boyden halls like it was yesterday. Three selfless men who loved UMass basketball and worked 24 hours a day to build the program.
UMass basketball lost a good man and Ray never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He was a genuine person that did so much and never sought praise. He alone was responsible for bringing Julius Erving and Al Skinner to UMass - enough said !!! May he rest in peace and may the UMass basketball family remember him for the selfless man he was!

tdmass
Senior
Posts: 1291
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:40 am
Location: Ormond Beach,Florida

Re: Ray Wilson

Post by tdmass » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:39 pm

Sad to hear, I remember his days as both Jack's top assistant and later head coach . . . RIP Ray! Thanks for the info Tom.

TruBluMaroon
Hall of Fame
Posts: 2178
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 11:25 am

Re: Ray Wilson

Post by TruBluMaroon » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:23 pm

Sad news.

A truly classy guy. Proud to say I was the senior manager in Ray's first year as Head Coach. A true Gentleman.

During our last road trip of the year, Ray gave me his single room and doubled with one of the assistant coaches. He told me it was to thank me for everything I had done. Don't know of any other coaches who would do something like that. Meant a lot to me then and still does today.

RIP Ray!

User avatar
Berkman
Hall of Fame
Posts: 5906
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:38 pm
Location: Mooresville, NC
Contact:

Re: Ray Wilson

Post by Berkman » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:42 pm

San news. He was a great guy.

tdmass
Senior
Posts: 1291
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 11:40 am
Location: Ormond Beach,Florida

RAY WILSON Collegian Article

Post by tdmass » Tue May 04, 2021 12:32 pm

https://dailycollegian.com/2021/05/ray- ... den-years/

This is a great insight to the raw beginnings of UMass Basketball History. I was in a few of the Doctor's classes, got hooked on basketball and read a lot of stories about Jack' and his players but this is dope!

PS: Shoutout to our board friend Tom McLaughlin who was a big contributor in the story.

Juice Stand
Senior
Posts: 1301
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:37 am
Location: Eastern Ma

Re: RAY WILSON Collegian Article

Post by Juice Stand » Tue May 04, 2021 1:09 pm

It's good to see the Collegian doing a feature like this, and some good interviews and quotes in there too.

To bring this in to today's game, I found this an interesting excerpt:
The financial and recruiting landscape of college basketball had changed and UMass hadn’t kept up. The UMass administration was used to winners. Leaman had brought them eight conference titles and they began to expect that kind of success. Wilson was given the reigns to a team that hadn’t won a conference game and was never given the resources or the time to truly turn things around.
Sounds a lot like where we are today. Recruiting is changing, NIL is close to becoming a reality, Duquesne has a "brand ambassador" for players. What will UMass do to keep up and what resources will they allocate to be a part of the new landscape? They'll never have the resources of Kentucky or Duke, but how can they become consistently relevant in the mid-major world? The investment in facilities has been excellent, what else are we doing to adjust to the new landscape?

tom mclaughlin
Sophomore
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Andover Ma

Re: RAY WILSON Collegian Article

Post by tom mclaughlin » Tue May 04, 2021 1:12 pm

Ray Wilson was a true gentleman and an unbelievable human being. He was the perfect assistant coach and never sort the spotlight. May he RIP and he is finally getting the recognition he deserves - better late then never as they say.
The reason I said that he was the best recruiter and better then even John Calipari who is one of the best recruiters of all time is simple. What Ray did was recruit future NBA players Julius Erving and Al Skinner to UMass when Curry Hicks Cage had a dirt floor and a glass roof and had squirrels and birds flying around. Couldn’t be done in this day and age. The locker rooms were awful and the ticket booth was a table in the lobby of Curry Hicks building. What Ray did was amazing and all these years later he is getting his recognition. He was a fine human being and deserves it.

BillGASox1
Freshman
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:08 am
Location: Georgia

Re: RAY WILSON Collegian Article

Post by BillGASox1 » Tue May 04, 2021 4:39 pm

tom mclaughlin wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:12 pm Ray Wilson was a true gentleman and an unbelievable human being. He was the perfect assistant coach and never sort the spotlight. May he RIP and he is finally getting the recognition he deserves - better late then never as they say.
The reason I said that he was the best recruiter and better then even John Calipari who is one of the best recruiters of all time is simple. What Ray did was recruit future NBA players Julius Erving and Al Skinner to UMass when Curry Hicks Cage had a dirt floor and a glass roof and had squirrels and birds flying around. Couldn’t be done in this day and age. The locker rooms were awful and the ticket booth was a table in the lobby of Curry Hicks building. What Ray did was amazing and all these years later he is getting his recognition. He was a fine human being and deserves it.
Your teams, with the players/coach stated above, along with Billy Endicott, Peter Towns, et al, brought a LOT of joy to us, as we crammed the Cage, beginning @ 6P.
Thanks for the true enjoyment!

tom mclaughlin
Sophomore
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Andover Ma

Re: RAY WILSON Collegian Article

Post by tom mclaughlin » Tue May 04, 2021 5:09 pm

Thanks for being a true UMass basketball fan for all these years! We were motivated whenever we saw thousands of students standing for hours in the bitter cold waiting to cheer us on. It’s something in this day and age the students can’t comprehend. We wanted to play hard for the fans. Jack Leaman, Pete Broaca and Ray Wilson were all of the same mold. They demanded you play hard, you defended and you boxed out and rebounded. Julius Erving led the country in rebounds yet he had to do the same boxing out drills as everyone else. We were in essence brother’s and to this very day we are still brothers. I sent the article on Ray out to all the guys and during the day every one has replied in some fond way about Ray. That what it means to all of us to have been part of UMass Basketball. To this day whether it’s Julius Erving or Al Skinner or Charlie Peters or Chuck Olsen or Dick Samuelson or Jack Gallagher or Dennis Chapman or Peter Trow or Jimmy Burke or Rick Vogeley or Jim Town or Jack Dempsey or Billy Greeley or Sam Provo we are one and we are proud of having played for the University of Massachusetts.

In light of what’s going on with the program and guys entering the transfer portal and coaches moving on we could care less if kids don’t value what UMass has to offer we’re better off without them. We only want kids that want to be in Amherst and are proud to be part of the UMass Basketball Program. A lot of coaches, players and fans have given their all for UMass and we can find kids that want to play at the same university as Julius Erving, Al Skinner and Marcus Camby. It was an honor to wear that uniform in front of loyal fans and we were all happy to have the golden opportunity to play for a great University. We just need to find young athletes like the hockey players. Now those young men know how to play hard and play together. We need kids who know how to work and want to be part of the UMass community.

TruBluMaroon
Hall of Fame
Posts: 2178
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2003 11:25 am

Re: RAY WILSON Collegian Article

Post by TruBluMaroon » Tue May 04, 2021 5:34 pm

I was very fortunate to have been the senior manager in Ray’s first year (only three (3) mangers at the time, up from two (2) my freshman year) and I also had additional administrative duties as I was responsible for monitoring the Study Hall, basketball’s first. Got paid to study, the American way. Also, our trainer, the great Liggy, was working at the Olympics in Lake Placid, so most of his administrative responsibilities on the road fell on my shoulders.

Our last road trip was to Pittsburgh, and in appreciation for my efforts, Ray gave up his single room to me and doubled up with one of our assistants, Ray Ricketts. I can’t imagine that many D1 Head Coaches would even think about doing that, and even less that would actually follow through. That was the thought process that defined Ray, and I am still very appreciative of his kindness and thoughtfulness.

Floyd
Hall of Fame
Posts: 7393
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2003 8:50 am
Location: Not where I should be

Re: RAY WILSON Collegian Article

Post by Floyd » Tue May 04, 2021 5:49 pm

tom mclaughlin wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 5:09 pm
In light of what’s going on with the program and guys entering the transfer portal and coaches moving on we could care less if kids don’t value what UMass has to offer we’re better off without them. We only want kids that want to be in Amherst and are proud to be part of the UMass Basketball Program. A lot of coaches, players and fans have given their all for UMass and we can find kids that want to play at the same university as Julius Erving, Al Skinner and Marcus Camby. It was an honor to wear that uniform in front of loyal fans and we were all happy to have the golden opportunity to play for a great University. We just need to find young athletes like the hockey players. Now those young men know how to play hard and play together. We need kids who know how to work and want to be part of the UMass community.
Great post Tom. I'll always follow the team because its UMass, and will always pull for the guys who finish their careers at UMass
Back in the 80's with the Celtics/Sixers phenominal rivalry games, as much as I loved the Bird/McHale/Parish Celtics, when they played the Sixers I was always pulling for Philly. My friends would get pissed at me and say " how can you like them?" And I would just look at them and say "The Doctor, he went to UMass"

To this day, I still have a Converse poster with "The Doctor" hanging in my home office from my UMass days. My all-time favorite athlete

TruBlu, thats a great story about Ray Wilson
The E sho, best show in town

vanmeter
Hall of Fame
Posts: 2012
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 9:12 pm

Re: Ray Wilson

Post by vanmeter » Tue May 04, 2021 8:21 pm

Really great topic and posts.
I started Umass in Fall of 1972 and went to almost all games at cage in my 4 years.
Placed rocked and patched even when playing Maine or Vermont. I think, at that time Jack, Ray, and Fan Gaudette were the coaches. Had great respect for all of them.
I actually started out as a manager in the Fall of 72. However I bailed out after a month as,then, only one manager went to road games. Steve Libby was the head manager, and he was only a sophomore, so I figured that I would not get to that position until I was a senior.
As it turned out Steve stopped after his sophomore season and Mike Littman, who came in after me, became the head manager the next year.
Those were the days.

capezona
Hall of Fame
Posts: 2086
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:59 pm
Location: Peoria, AZ and Dennisport, MA

Re: Ray Wilson

Post by capezona » Wed May 05, 2021 10:17 am

I'm sorry to hear about Ray. My condolences to the family. The stories that this has brought up are terrific though. They bring some depth to the various posters. It makes me think that it would be interesting to have a thread where people could share their connections to the program: first time seeing a game, interesting insights, funny stories, etc. Just a thought.

User avatar
LS71
Hall of Fame
Posts: 6938
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 8:55 pm
Location: Lost in Space

Re: Ray Wilson

Post by LS71 » Wed May 05, 2021 11:07 am

When I saw Ray's name as the topic of this thread, I had a feeling that he passed. Rest in Peace, Ray.

I too waited in those lines to get into the Cage beginning in the 68-69 season, my sophomore year. Those lines formed to see Julius' freshman team play...many students left before the varsity game started. The feeling about the team was electric and that buzz only got stronger from there. Two years later, I bought my 1st season ticket to avoid those lines. Too bad we never got to see Al And Julius on the varsity together. Regardless, I was hooked for life on all things UMass.

Floyd-the Celtics-Sixers rivalry is one of the all-time best in the NBA....from Russell vs. Wilt and Havlicek stealing the ball to Doc vs. Bird. I won't say that I wanted Philly to win, but I wouldn't have been pissed if they did. :wink: Regardless of the outcome just wanted Julius to do well.
"Win without boasting, lose without crying." -- Julius Erving

User avatar
MikeUMA
Site Admin
Posts: 10478
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 11:11 pm
Location: Norwalk, CT
Contact:

Re: Ray Wilson

Post by MikeUMA » Wed May 05, 2021 1:38 pm

Folks, to be clear, Ray passed away in 2015. This thread went inactive for some time, until yesterday's Collegian article. Looks like a few people might be misunderstanding that he passed away recently.

No biggie, just pointing it out.

Post Reply