Today is a great day for a Maize and Blue Happy Birthday tribute to David E. Raimey. He is another Buckeye who saw the light and came to play his college football at Michigan.
Dave Raimey arrived in Ann Arbor in the fall of 1959, the first year of the Bump Elliott Era at Michigan. Raimey spent the 1959 season learning the Elliott system and getting knocked around in practice by the upper classmen. Okay, he was knocked around by the upper classmen who could catch him! The varsity went 4-5-0 that year. Yes, they needed some help. David E. Raimey was determined to make a difference when he got to the varsity and he would!
(Note-David E. Raimey (#19) is shown above with the 1962 Michigan Football team. He is seated in the first row, third man from the left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.)
David E. Raimey was good enough to start three games at right halfback as a sophomore and letter in his first year on the Michigan varsity. Michigan won five games and lost four in 1960. So, things got a little bit better for the Maize and Blue in Raimey’s second season at Michigan. Dave Raimey rushed for almost three hundred yards on just sixty-two carries that year and averaged almost five yards (4.7) per carry. He also did some excellent work on the kickoff team averaging twenty-six yards on three returns. The fleet-footed Raimey also scored six touchdowns that year which made him Michigan’s leading scorer for the 1961 season. Things looked promising for David E. Raimey and the Wolverines in 1961.
The Wolverines posted a record of 6 wins and 3 losses in 1961. It was Michigan’s best record since 1956! Raimey started eight games a left halfback and one game at right halfback. He led the team in rushing and scoring. Dave also did outstanding work on the kickoff and punt return teams. The elusive Raimey became the first man in modern Michigan football history to return a punt (54-yards vs Illinois) and a kickoff (90-yards vs Ohio State) in the same season. Raimey’s outstanding season earned him the respect of his team and his coaches. He was named the Meyer Morton Award winner for most improved and most potential at the end of the 1961 season.
Expectations were high in Ann Arbor for the 1962 season, but things fell apart pretty quickly. A series of key injuries and a lot of bad luck resulted in a record of 1 win, 5 losses and 0 ties in the first six games. Things did not improve for team number eighty-three as they finished with a disappointing record of 2 wins and 7 losses. This would be the worst finish of he Bump Elliott Era and it was ugly!
Michigan only scored seventy points during the entire season and David E. Raimey scored thirty points by himself! The worst part was the fact that the defense allowed two hundred-fourteen points. Yes, the point differentials were heavy on the negative side for the 1962 season.
Unfortunately, Dave Raimey’s numbers were not as good as they were in 1961. So, he finished his career on a “low” note as far as wins and losses, but he was selected as the team’s Most Valuable player at the end of the season. Yes, he was the best player on a bad team, but that’s the way it worked out!
Dave Raimey’s name is all over the Michigan Football Record Book. He still holds the season record for kickoff return average (30.8) from 1961. Raimey also has the seventh best career kickoff return average at 24.1 yards per return. He led Michigan in rushing during the 1961 and 1962 seasons. Finally, Dave Raimey is the first and only non-kicker to lead Michigan in scoring for three consecutive seasons (1960 – 1962).
David E. Raimey had a solid career at Michigan. He was a triple threat back who could carry the rock, return kickoffs and run back punts. Raimey did a lot for the Wolverine football program. He went on to have a short career in the National Football League and a long and very successful one, in the Canadian Football League (CFL). In fact, he is a Hall of Famer in the CFL. Yes, today is a great day to celebrate David E. Raimey’s contributions to Michigan Football.
To read more about David E. Raimey check out the links below:
The Legend of Bo Schembechler is a football love story. Millions of Michigan football fans loved Bo Schembechler almost as much as he loved The University of Michigan. This insightful book details how “Bo Who” simply became “Bo” to Wolverine Nation and to college football fans across the country and around the world. It details Bo’s twenty-one-year journey to bring Michigan Football back to national prominence and how he kept it there!
Click below to order your copy!