Bob McCray knew from a young age that he wanted to teach and coach, and he has lived his dream for over forty years.
He graduated from Shadle Park High School in 1963, and went on to receive his undergraduate degrees in History and PE/Science from the College of Education at the University of Idaho, his Master of Science in Anatomy and Physiology of Exercise from the University of Hawaii, and his Masters in School Counseling and Applied from Eastern Washington University.
While at the U of I, he competed in Football and Wrestling. He was an honorable mention Offensive Guard in very program that produced several athletes who would go on to play in the NFL, including Ron Porter and John Fouria.
His coaching career began in 1967 at Orting High School in Washington, coaching Football, Wrestling, and Track. The football and track teams were State B Champions, and the Wrestling team was a 2nd place finisher.
The next year he took a two year graduate assistant position with Coach Dave Holmes at the University of Hawaii, as a linebackers and special teams coach.
Upon completing his Master’s Degree at Hawaii, he moved with his new wife, Tessa, to Pasco Washington where he was an assistant football coach, and head track coach at Columbia Basin College. The football team was Co-Champs in ’70 and ’71, and in 1972 he took over as Head Football coach. The team was 10-1 the next season, and sixteen of his players went on to play D1 football from that team. Seven of his track athletes went on to compete at major schools.
His success at Columbia Basin drew the attention of the University of New Mexico where he coached the O line and special teams from ’73-’77. During his time there the Lobos went 19-25-1, and he and Tessa had their daughter Amy.
He caught the eye of University of Oregon’s new head coach, Rich Brooks, who brought him in to coach the offensive line, and during his tenure there coached several future NFL players including eventual Hall of Famer, Gary Zimmerman the outstanding guard for the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos. Daughter Kelly was born in Eugene.
With a desire to return to Spokane and raise a family, McCray took a position as the Offensive Coordinator at Spokane Falls Community College under Bob Everson. He went on to coach Quarterbacks at SFCC as the Spartans produced for NWAACC championships and dominated this level of football during that period.
When Spokane Falls dropped their football program in 1990 McCray returned to the High School ranks, becoming a counselor and assistant football coach at Mead High School with Mike McLaughlin. He also coached softball and won two GSL titles in that sport. In 1977 he took over as Head football coach and led his teams to the State playoffs every year until he retired in 2002 with a record of 24-14. Not ready to step away from the sidelines completely, he assisted John Barrington with softball until he retired fully from Mead High school in 2007.
He is thankful for all of the mentors he had on his journey and the fine young men & women he had the privilege of coaching. He’s been happily married to the love of his life, Tessa for 47 years, and enjoys painting, sculpting and spending time with his grandchildren in his retirement.