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Ray McLean
Date of birth December 6, 1915
Place of birth Lowell, Massachusetts
Date of death March 4, 1964
Position(s) Halfback
College St. Anselm College
NFL Draft 1940 / Round 21 / Pick 192
Career record 1-12-1
Stats
Playing stats DatabaseFootball
Coaching stats DatabaseFootball
Team(s) as a player
1940-1947 Chicago Bears
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1953, 1958 Green Bay Packers

Ray "Scooter" McLean (December 6, 1915 - March 4, 1964) was a football player and coach at both the collegiate and professional levels, but may be best remembered for preceding Vince Lombardi as head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1958.

McLean was a native of Lowell, Massachusetts and Concord, New Hampshire who played both football and basketball at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1940 and played eight years with the team, and also found time during the offseason to play semipro baseball. Though his name is listed as Ray McLean is real last name is MacLean, and was changed because the press would always spell it wrong.

During his time with the Bears, McLean played on both sides of the ball, catching 103 passes for over 2,200 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also gaining 412 yards via the running game. On defense, he intercepted 18 opponent tosses, while his special teams work also sparkled with three punt returns for touchdowns, one an 89-yard dash against the crosstown Chicago Cardinals. In his final season (1947), he served as the team's kicker.

On March 3, 1948, McLean signed a contract to serve as head coach of Lewis College in Lockport, Illinois. To supplement his income during that first year, he also served as an assistant coach with the All-America Football Conference's Chicago Rockets. During his first two seasons at Lewis, McLean's teams completely dominated, outscoring opponents 548-80 while compiling a 14-2 record. In 1950, the school moved to the much stronger Midlands Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, but McLean left after that campaign to become an assistant with the Packers.

Working under head coach Gene Ronzani, McLean watched the Packers struggle with a 3-9 mark in 1951, but then improve by three games the following year. However, after winning just twice in 10 games, Ronzani was fired on November 27, 1953 with two games remaining. McLean and fellow Packer assistant Hugh Devore then finished the season as co-head coaches.

McLean returned to his role as an assistant under new head coach Lisle Blackbourn, but a 17-31 record over the next four years meant another coaching change was in the works for Green Bay. On January 6, 1958, the 42-year-old McLean was elevated to the position of Packers' head coach, but the team bottomed-out under his leadership, which included players deciding how they should discipline themselves. The Packers finished the 1958 season with a franchise-worst 1-10-1 record. McLean resigned at the conclusion of the season, which opened the way for the hiring of Lombardi in January 1959.

McLean found work as an assistant with the Detroit Lions under former Bears teammate George Wilson, and served in that role for the next five years. Midway through the 1963 NFL season, he entered an Ann Arbor hospital and was diagnosed with cancer. Scooter McLean died four months later, at the age of 48.

McLean is also remembered as being one of the last players to perform a drop-kick, in 1941. It would be more than six decades later before another occurrence of this feat would be seen, when on January 1, 2006, the New England Patriots' Doug Flutie kicked one against the Miami Dolphins. (The last time a drop kick was successfully attempted for a field goal was by Earl "Dutch" Clark.)

External links

Preceded by
Gene Ronzani
Green Bay Packers Head Coaches
1953
Succeeded by
Lisle Blackbourn
Preceded by
Lisle Blackbourn
Green Bay Packers Head Coaches
1958
Succeeded by
Vince Lombardi
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