Greg Schiano continues to surround himself with experienced coaches who have tutored some of the most successful players in football.
On Wednesday, one day after Butch Davis' arrival as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' special assistant to the head coach, the team announced the addition of Jimmy Raye as senior offensive assistant. Raye's coaching career has spanned 40 seasons, two of them as part of a previous stint with the Buccaneers, and has included offensive coordinator posts with seven different NFL teams
Schiano, who was named the Buccaneers' new head coach on January 26, has now officially hired three men – Raye, Davis and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan – who have a combined 54 years of coaching on the NFL level. Like Raye and Sullivan, Davis has helped produce some of the most memorable individual and team performances of the last few decades.
"With over 30 years of NFL experience, Coach Raye has attained a wealth of knowledge that will be an invaluable resource to our coaches and players," said Schiano.
Complementing Sullivan's outstanding work with the New York Giants' quarterbacks and receivers, Raye has a long history of getting the most out of his running backs. Among the backs Raye has coached to big seasons are Eric Dickerson, Frank Gore, Thomas Jones, Stephen Davis and Marcus Allen. Dickerson, in fact, set the NFL single-season rushing record with 2,105 yards in 1984 with Raye as his offensive coordinator.
Of Raye's 40 years as a coach, 34 have come in the NFL, beginning with his initial job leading the San Francisco 49ers' wide receivers in 1977. He then spent two years as the running backs coach in Detroit and two as the receivers coach in Atlanta before getting his first coordinator position with the Rams in 1983. In addition to his two seasons in that position, Raye later served as the offensive coordinator for Tampa Bay (1985-86), New England (1990), Kansas City (1998-2000), Washington (2001), Oakland (2004-05) and San Francisco (2009-2010). He was also the passing coordinator for the Rams in 1991.
Other stops in Raye's lengthy NFL career include three more years as the Falcons' receivers coach (1987-89); six as a tight ends and running backs coach in Kansas City before his promotion to coordinator (1982-87); two as a senior offensive assistant with the New York Jets (2002-03); and three as the Jets' running backs coach (2006-08).
Dickerson is not the only back who has benefited from Raye's tutelage. In 2009, the 49ers' Gore had one of his best seasons, rushing for 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns on 229 carries (4.9 avg.) and adding three TDs and 406 yards on 52 receptions in just 14 games played. During his three years coaching the backs in New York, Raye guided Jones to back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2007-08. In the latter of those two campaigns, Jones' ninth in the league, the Jets' back earned his first Pro Bowl berth after rushing for 1,312 yards and 15 touchdowns. In 2001, with Raye coaching and Stephen Davis (1,432 yards) leading the way, the Redskins racked up 121.8 yards per game to rank eighth in the league.
During his long and successful stay in Kansas City, Raye helped revitalize Allen's career. Allen joined Kansas City in 1993 at the age of 33, with 11 seasons and 2,090 carries already under his belt. The future Hall of Famer had carried the ball fewer than 70 times in three of his last four seasons with the Raiders, but in five years in Kansas City he ran another 932 times for 3,698 yards and a then-club-record 44 touchdowns. Fullback Kimble Anders also earned all three of his career Pro Bowl selections (1995-97) under Raye during that time. In addition, the Chiefs led the league in rushing in 1995, averaging 138.9 yards per game, as the team went 13-3 and won the AFC West.
With Raye as offensive coordinator in 2000, the Chiefs ranked eighth in the NFL in total offense (350.9 ypg) and fourth in passing (259.3 ypg). A year prior, Kansas City finished fourth in the NFL in rushing (130.1) ypg, tied for eighth in points scored (24.4) and ranked 12th in total offense (332.6 ypg).
Raye also coached in the collegiate ranks at Michigan State (1971-75), his alma mater, and Wyoming (1976). Raye played one professional season after the Rams selected him in the 1968 NFL Draft and converted him from quarterback to defensive back. He was later traded to the Eagles, where he played two games in 1969. As a quarterback at Michigan State, Raye led the Spartans to two Big Ten titles.