Lud Wray
Posed photograph of Wray seated and wearing a football uniform bearing a "F" on the chest with pads but no helmet
Wray as a member of the Frankford Athletic Association Yellow Jackets in 1922
Personal information
Born:(1894-02-07)February 7, 1894
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died:July 24, 1967(1967-07-24) (aged 73)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school:Chestnut Hill (PA)
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season:13–25–3 (.354) (NFL)
5–4 (.556) (College)
Player stats at PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

James R. Ludlow "Lud" Wray (February 7, 1894 – July 24, 1967) was a professional American football player, coach, and co-founder, with college teammate Bert Bell, of the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He was the first coach of the Boston Braves (now the Washington Commanders) and of the Eagles.[1]

He also served as head coach at his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania.

Playing career

Wray as a member of the Buffalo All-Americans in 1921.

Wray attended Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, where he lettered in baseball and football.[2] He played his college football at the University of Pennsylvania, was the Quakers' center from 1914 to 1916.

During World War I, Wray served in the United States Marine Corps. He returned for his senior season in 1919.[3] In additional to football, Wray also played catcher on the Penn baseball team.[2]

Professionally, Wray played for the Buffalo Niagaras, Buffalo Prospects, and Buffalo All-Americans[4] from 1918 until 1921. In 1920 and 1921, Buffalo was a member of the National Football League (then called the American Professional Football Association).[5]

Coaching career


From 1923 to 1929, Wray served as an assistant football coach at Penn. In 1930, he succeeded Lou Young as head coach.[2] He was fired on December 12, 1930, due to friction with players, alumni, and the public.[6]

Boston Braves

In 1932, Wray was named head coach of the Boston Braves, a National Football League expansion team.[7] The Braves went 4–4–2 in their inaugural season. He left the team after one season and was replaced by Lone Star Dietz.[8]

Philadelphia Eagles

In 1933, Wray's former teammate and fellow assistant at Penn, Bert Bell convinced him to become coach of the expansion Philadelphia Eagles. By 1936, the club was suffering significant financial losses and was offered for sale at a public auction. Bell was the only bidder and became the team's sole owner. On April 28, Wray refused a 66% reduction in salary and left the team.[9]

Later career

In 1938, Wray became an assistant at Manhattan College.[10] He remained with the school until his resignation in November 1940.[11]

In 1941, Wray served as an assistant to Ank Scanlan at St. Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia.[12] When Scanlan became head coach at Holy Cross, Wray followed him. In 1943, Scanlan's war commitments limited him to only being able to coach on game day and Wray led the team the rest of the week. Wray and Scanlan had a falling out and Wray was replaced by Ox DaGrosa for 1944.[13]

Wray served as an assistant coach under Jim Leonard for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1945.[14]

Personal life and death

On December 26, 1933, Wray married Juanita Sauveur.[15] After Juanita's death in 1950, Wray married the former Frances Cressman.[16]


He died on July 25, 1967, in Philadelphia. At the time of his death, Wray resided in Oreland, Pennsylvania. He was survived by his second wife.[16]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Penn Quakers (Independent) (1930)
1930 Penn 5–4
Penn: 5–4
Total: 5–4–1


  1. ^ Dupont, Kevin Paul (December 29, 2013). "Redskins name debate traces to Boston". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Wray Named Coach of Eleven at Penn". The New York Times. December 21, 1929.
  3. ^ "Lud Wray, Ex-Owners of Football Eagles". The New York Times. July 26, 1967.
  4. ^ "Lud Wray". NFL. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  5. ^ Miller, Jeffery (2002). Buffalo's Forgotten Champions. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
  6. ^ "Wray is released as Coach by Penn". The New York Times. December 13, 1930.
  7. ^ "Pro Football Plans for Boston Outlined". The Boston Daily Globe. April 21, 1932.
  8. ^ Sportsman (March 8, 1933). "Live Tips and Topics". The Boston Daily Globe.
  9. ^ Lyons, Robert S. (2010). On Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1-59213-731-2.
  10. ^ "Kopf Names Wray Manhattan Aide". The New York Times. February 15, 1938.
  11. ^ "Tessier to Coach Line". The New York Times. March 6, 1941.
  12. ^ Fitzgerald, Tom (December 9, 1941). "Unknown Named Crusader Coach". The Boston Globe. p. 24. Retrieved December 26, 2020 – via Open access icon.
  13. ^ "Ank Scanlan Resigns". The Boston Daily Globe. December 19, 1944.
  14. ^ "Jim Leonard Quits Steelers". The Philadelphia Inquirer. December 19, 1945.
  15. ^ "J.R.L. Wray Weds Miss Sauveur". The New York Times. December 27, 1933.
  16. ^ a b "Lud Wray's Funeral At Oreland Tomorrow". The Philadelphia Daily News. July 26, 1967.