Yale’s Johnny Ray – North OK Most Outstanding Football Coach Presented by Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle, & Wicker

By Derrick Smith

Small town football is a unique thing. Every Friday night in the fall, the entire town basically shuts down so everyone can go to the stadium and cheer on their team. One thing about small school fan bases is their loyalty to the program, and that is something that Yale head coach Johnny Ray can attest to.

“For me to win the North Football Coach poll makes me feel very honored,” Ray said. “We have a small but very loyal fan base in Yale. For them to work hard to make this happen is very flattering. Their enthusiasm makes me want to work that much harder for them.”

Ray is the head football coach for the Yale Bulldogs. He teaches high school and junior high science, while also serving as an assistant coach in baseball for the junior high and high school.

When he was younger, Ray loved to play sports, especially football. 

“When I was in high school at Bristow, I played football and ran track,” he said. “Then I walked on to play football for Southeastern Oklahoma State University. I also played some semi-pro football back in the 1990’s.”

This season, Ray will be in his twenty-fifth year of coaching football. And he has learned from some of the best. “I have had the opportunity to play and coach with the very best coaches in Oklahoma,” he said. “I played for Bill Scott , Rick Dill, and Jerry Lomenick at Bristow.  Then when in college, I played for an outstanding man in Coach Morris Sloan at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. I use the things they taught me still to this day, and wouldn’t be who I am without their influence.”

The key for Yale and coach Ray to be successful on the field is to just do what they know how to do. 

“What we do is simple,” he said. “We practice the things that make people successful every day. We don’t try to overcomplicate things. And we eliminate things that take away from that. After that, success just takes care of itself.”

While Johnny appreciates all the things his coaches and players do, there is someone that is a key to everything. 

“I really want to thank my wife Angeline,” he said. “She is my toughest critic and biggest fan.  She is great for suggestions and criticism and to bounce ideas off of.”