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.