Howard "Hod" Ray
From Palo Alto Wiki
Howard "Hod" Ray (d. 1951) was a coach at Palo Alto High School for 30 years, leading its football team to back-to-back perfect championship seasons. The playing fields at Palo Alto High School are named after him.
Ray, known for his jaunty walk, booming bass voice, twinkling blue eyes, informal manner and great golf scores, began coaching at Paly in 1921. During the next 30 years, his grid team took eight Peninsula Athletic League championships.
From 1921-51, Palo Alto was a formidable football town, with a record of 221 wins, 24 ties and 63 losses. And for two of those years - 1950 and 1951 - Palo Alto was more than just formidable, it was downright glorious. Those were the years the Palo Alto High School Vikings crushed their way through two perfect seasons to win the Peninsula Athletic League championship.
In addition to football, he coached basketball, track and field, swimming and baseball. Contending that "only one in 100 understands football," Ray wrote "Football Facts and Fun," a 64-page book filled with clear-cut facts about the game and explanatory cartoons. Despite his huge success as a football coach, he maintained that basketball, the sport he played in college, was his favorite.
Ray died of a heart attack on Dec. 15, 1951, just a few weeks after the jubilant Vikings carried him across the field at the end of their second perfect championship season.