Category Archives: Marty Horn

Remembering Lehigh’s Battles With The Late Tubby Raymond

(Photo Credits: Delaware Online)

When I heard the news Tubby Raymond, legendary Delaware head football coach, died last week at the age of 92, two immediate memories came rushing back to me.

One occurred on October 16th, 1999, when Tubby had made a complaint to the local paper or radio in the run-up to Kevin Higgins' Mountain Hawks beating his Blue Hens on Delaware's homecoming, 42-35.

I have no idea if the quote even actually happened, but my recollection is that Tubby said that Lehigh had "St. Bartholomew's" on their schedule, and hadn't played anybody.  It was a verbal jab that many Delaware fans took with them to the stands to heckle the Mountain Hawk fans that made the short trip to Newark.

Up until that point, I had watched a bunch of Lehigh football games over the years.  I experienced their rise in the 1990s.  I enjoyed wins, and championships, and playoff victories.

But never had I felt a win so viscerally vindicating than the one over Tubby Raymond's team - a win that might have kept the Blue Hens out of the playoffs that year, and might have allowed Lehigh to squeeze into the playoffs at 10-1 with a precious at-large bid.  (And they did it on homecoming!  Homecoming!  "It was one of the most enjoyable wins I've ever had," Higgins said years afterwards.)

The other memory that came rushing back was the run-up to Delaware's home I-AA playoff football game a year later.  I remember the visceral excitement that I had that Lehigh was going to have a chance to beat Delaware twice in two years at their place.  And I was looking in the newspaper for what Tubby Raymond had to say about Lehigh.  Nothing.

And Tubby's 2001 team simply shut up, and hit Lehigh in the mouth repeatedly in a 47-22 rout that wasn't as close as the final score might indicate.  When RB Antawn Jenkins dove over a Lehigh player into the end zone to punctuate Delaware's 33rd unanswered point after Lehigh briefly went up 10-7, I felt like I was smashed in the mouth, and I wasn't even suited up.

After the game, Tubby was hugely respectful to the Mountain Hawks, turning from Disney villain to charmer in a single stroke.  "We ought to play Lehigh every year," he said, favorably comparing the Mountain Hawks to any team on their Atlantic 10 schedule.  "It's a great game and a great national rivalry."

And that was Tubby Raymond, in a nutshell to Lehigh players, coaches and fans - a mixture of competitive verbal needling (that sometimes cut close to the bone), enough so that you wanted to see him beat more than any head football coach in America.  He tended to back up the talk with excellent teams - when Lehigh teams beat Delaware, these were not ordinary wins - they were gems, and when the Mountain Hawks lost to his teams, they were crushing.  And then, when the clock read 0:00, win or lose, Tubby would say something that made it hurt just a little bit less, allow you to regroup, and make you want to circle Delaware on the schedule for next year.

I never had the honor of meeting Tubby Raymond, but he had an awful lot to do with my passion for Lehigh football, and for that I am grateful for him.
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Romp At Home Shows "Back To The Future" for Lehigh Offense

It is not my favorite movie by a longshot, but this week my family and I watched Back to the Future, the seminal Robert Zemeckis coming-of-age movie starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.

I've always felt it's an OK, meh movie.  It seems to rely on gimmicks and time gags ("What's a rerun?") to get its yuks, and it has no business being as beloved as it remains to this day.  My wife and my son loved it, as they have their own minds and, in our family, you're allowed to like what you like without criticism.  I watched it, happy they were happy, and amused.

In the back of my mind while watching Christopher Lloyd attach the cable to the tower clock, I was worried about Penn.

The consequences of a loss in this game to the 2015 season would have been severe.  The Mountain Hawks were already coming off a rough 55-17 loss to James Madison, one where criticisms of the team, the coaches, and players were starting to be heard.  A 1-2 start heading into two tough out-of-conference games versus Princeton and Yale could have the Mountain Hawks staring down a 1-4 start going into conference play.

Instead, Lehigh would crack 40 points at home in a 42-21 win over Penn, scoring six touchdowns and for the most part controlling the game in a way that wasn't seen in a while at Murray Goodman Stadium.

With a three touchdown win and the Mountain Hawks dropping 40 points at home, are we... Back to the Future?
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