Robert Wayne Raney (Coach Raney) passed away on Monday, March 27th at the age of 74 surrounded by his three girls. He was born on December 23, 1948 in North Little Rock Arkansas to the late Robert Lee (Bob) and Mary Maxine Raney. He leaves behind a legacy of laughter, love, and elaborate (and often inappropriate) story telling.
Wayne spent his childhood in Brinkley, Arkansas. When he was not causing trouble, he was playing sports. He excelled in sports, especially baseball. The friendships he made during these years stood the test of time as his Brinkley graduating class of 1966 have remained close throughout his life. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1967, receiving an honorable discharge in 1973. While in the Marine Reserves he attended the State Teacher College in Conway Arkansas (UCA) from 1969 until he graduated with his B.S.E. in 1973.
During this time, he played four years for the UCA Baseball team where he was known as an outstanding pitcher. He also ran track for 1 year for UCA as a way to make amends for some trouble he caused on campus. He earned his Master of Science in Education from Arkansas State University in 1991.
He found a way to continue to show off his athletic prowess by joining adult softball and football leagues in Marianna. He played many rounds and broke a few clubs at the golf course every summer. He was an avid duck hunter and always returned with a story to tell. He loved Saturday mornings with the ASU Indian Club and sharing ASU games and tailgates with his family and friends.
He started his 38 year coaching career at Lee Academy in Marianna, Arkansas where he coached football, baseball, basketball, golf, and track. In addition, he served as both Headmaster and Athletic Director until 2001. In 2001, he began his final decade of coaching and teaching with the Hazen School District. In Hazen he served as a football, basketball, and baseball coach as well as Athletic Director. Career highlightsinclude multiple championships–including M.P.S.A. state championships, multiple bowl game appearances, coaching three all-star games, and Coach of the Year in both the MCAA and MPSA, and breaking a 17 year streak to beat Hazen’s biggest rival, Carlisle.
He spent countless hours pouring into the lives of his players, students, and their families.
Lessons he taught are passed on and will continue to impact those that knew him.
Coach Raney is proceeded in death by his parents, Bob and Maxine; sister, Becky Raney Trublood, uncle, Dean Raney, and a number of very special friends.
He is survived by his three girls, Mary Whitney Raney, Cayce Raney, and Chelsey Raney Harrison (BJ). His brothers David Raney (Nadean) and Billy Raney, mother of his girls, Cheryl, and many beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews, and friends.
The name Coach took on a whole new meaning to him three years ago when he became the grandfather of Maeve and Bishop Harrison.
The family would like to thank the Chambers Staff and close friends, Big Billy Lindsey, Coach Donnie Boothe, and Russ Sparks.
A memorial service to celebrate Coach Raney’s life will be held at 2:03pm on Friday, March 31st, at the Carlisle Civic Center: 215 South Court Street Carlisle, Arkansas. The family will receive friends and loved ones before the service starting at 12:57pm.
If you would like to make a donation in his honor, please contact Chambers Health and Rehabilitation regarding their resident activity fund or send a donation to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
24 thoughts on “Robert Wayne Raney”
So sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers for you all.
Y’all are in my thoughts and prayers at this time.
Prayers for you all so sorry to hear of his passing
Randy and Robin Gehring
I aim so sorry to hear about Wayne. Was a good friend. Have lots of good memories with him. My prayers are with each of you during this time.
Wayne loved and loved life to the very fullest for as long as he was physically possible. I have so many stories I could tell on him but those are for another time. I want you all to know we deeply loved Wayne and all of you girls. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to hear his favorite song, My girl(s), played at his service. You were his greatest accomplishment and joy.
Wayne was a great man. So sorry for you loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers
We grew up down the road from each other at Zent…..A good man….and was raised by a great Mom and Dad.
So sorry to hear about Wayne. Remember his parent and all their children. Our prayers are with you. Bob & Brenda Neal, Brinkley
Prayers to David an the Raney family.
I’m sorry to hear about coach I spent many time riding the bus to football game with him he is in a better place now coaching
Prayers to Coach’ Raney’s family and friends. I know your memories will bring you peace in the coming days,months and years. Sincerely, Annette Hamilton,Sharye and Phillip Burrow
I’m very sorry to hear about Coach’s passing and I regret not getting by to see him over the past few years. My thoughts and prayers are with his daughters, grandkids and family. He had a big impact on my life throughout 1st – 12th grades and especially on the football field that have carried over in my everyday life. He coached us hard but loved us too. I got a laugh out of the time of the Service…..2.03pm. Those “times” whether it was the bus leaving on a Friday afternoon headed to the football game or when practice starts have stuck with me to this day.
I have nothing but good memories of Coach Raney during my years at Lee Academy (1972-1984). He treated me like a daughter and watched over me like a father. I loved, respected, and trusted him. His “old school” methods were solid and they thought us many life lessons. I thank God for Coach Raney being part of such an important time in my life.
Dena Wooten Pickle
Yes, Coach Raney is a Lee Academy legend!!! I worked with Coach at Lee Academy in the summers to help pay my tuition that allowed me to attend this school, I have fond memories of Coach the 3 years I played for him. You miss be missed Coach!!!!❤️❤️
Wayne was a special person to me! From the time we first met in 1962, he was a sophomore and I was a senior at Brinkley High School. We became immediate friends.
We reconnected in 1975 when I worked at Lee Senior High and he worked at Lee Academy. I kept up with him all the years thereafter!
He was a fine person and made your day better by just being around him.
Charles “Gump” Vondran
Class of 64
Wayne has been a great friend for a very long time with myself & Rudy. There are no words that can be said about Wayne that could ever explain what a wonderful person he was & was always ready to help in any way. Our children, Renee & Jeremy, loved him also especially during their years at Lee Academy & even afterwards. Wayne you will be so missed by all that knew you. RIP Wayne.
Loved me some Coach Ramey ! Together we survived teaching one year without ceilings in the Hazen “old cafeteria”! Loved watching him coach football and his laugh. He loved his girls beyond anything else ! He left a legacy of happiness to all who knew him.
Chelsey and family so sorry to hear about your dad. May God hold y’all tight in the coming days
Wayne was a very good friend, and team mate, I stopped in to see him a few times, and we had some great conversation . he will be missed by many. So sorry for your loss girls.
I have many good memories of my old hunting, fishing, and softball playing buddy. Prayers for his girls and all the family and friends.
To the Raney family—Brinkley’s Class of 66 was a special group. My brother Bob Norman was a member of that close knit group. They stayed in contact and checked on each other and cared for each other and managed to have more class reunions than any other class I am aware of. (Must have been the music). I remember Bob and a number of the 1966 classmates traveling to Carlisle to visit with Wayne and the stories of the good time they had.
I would imagine the two of them along with other classmates are meeting up for another great reunion. Until we are all together again, God Bless, Mike Norman
Coach Raney was like a second father to pretty much every student that walked thru the halls of Lee Academy. He was a very caring person who loves his students. There are so many memories I have at school and out of school. He will be greatly missed and my condolences to the family. RIP Coach.
I was a senior at Lee Academy when Coach Raney arrived in 1974. We had been through different football coaches every year and Coach Raney was the first one to stay. We weren’t very successful that first year, but you could tell that Coach Raney was going to change things and make improvements–and he did. I only wish that he had arrived sooner. Even though that was a long time ago, I still have good memories of Coach Raney–especially “playing catch” with him in the gym–he could make a baseball do crazy things.
To Coach Raney’s daughters and family–I was so sad to hear of your Dad’s passing–please accept my sincerest condolences for your great loss. A good man like Coach Raney deserves a special place in heaven. May the love, prayers and support of your family and friends bring you comfort and peace in this difficult time
The obituary was so fitting for the Wayne I remember. He was always a hoot and I have many memories of him as a young boy. Birthday parties, hay rides, ball games, and dances at the legion hut. E kept us all laughing. Sympathies to his family
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