The Obit For Ray Poole

Ray Smith Poole, 86, Star With Giants and Ole Miss, Is Dead

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: April 5, 2008


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Ray Smith Poole, a former Giants All-Pro end and a three-sport star at the University of Mississippi, died Wednesday. He was 86.

The cause was cancer, university officials said.

Poole played baseball and basketball at Ole Miss, where his football career was interrupted by three years of service with the Marines in World War II. After his pro career, he returned to Ole Miss as a football coach, working for the longtime coach Johnny Vaught.

Poole’s brothers, Buster and Barney, were also star athletes at Ole Miss. The brothers and their descendants have accounted for 50 athletic letters, and a campus roadway is named for them.

Ray Poole grew up in Gloster in southwestern Mississippi and earned 11 letters in his career at Ole Miss. He was a guard and center for the basketball team, leading the Rebels in scoring in 1943, and he was 5-2 as a pitcher in 1946.

It was on the football field where he made his biggest impression.

After his military service, he was captain of the football team in 1946. He was an all-Southeastern Conference selection and turned pro after being taken by the Giants in the 13th round of the 1944 N.F.L. draft. He played for the Giants from 1947-52 and the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 1953-54.

He was an All-Pro in both leagues. He caught 83 passes for 1,164 yards in 71 N.F.L. games and finished with 223 career points, including 9 touchdowns, 27 field goals and 86 extra points.

Poole was also drafted by the Chicago Cubs but never made it to the major leagues.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Wanda England; a son, Ray Jr.; a daughter, Patti; a sister; and three grandchildren.