Ray Bentley was born and raised in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. He graduated Hudsonville High School in 1979 and attended Central Michigan University on a full-ride scholarship to play football. While at Central Michigan, Ray majored in English Literature and accomplished many feats on the football field. He broke the all-time career tackles record while playing linebacker for the Chippewa’s and still holds the record for most tackles in a single season. He was the only defensive player ever to receive of the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year award.
After leaving Central Michigan, Ray began his professional football career in the USFL, playing for the Michigan Panthers and the Oakland Invaders. In 1986, Ray signed with the NFL franchise, the Buffalo Bills. He played with the Bills for six seasons, including two of the four historic consecutive Super Bowl appearances. After suffering an injury with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1992, Ray retired from professional football.
Once retired, Ray became a radio show talk host in his home town of Grand Rapids on WOOD 1340 AM, as well as a play by play announcer on FOX for the NFL. In 2000, he became the Head Coach and General Manager of the Buffalo Destroyers, an Arena Football League team. After resigning in 2003, he made his way back to the television screen, becoming a color analyst for ESPN college football games, the job he still holds today.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Ray published seven children’s books. He recently got back into writing and released his first novel, Driftwood, in June of 2015. Ray is the father of five children with his wife, Jodi, and the grandfather of two boys. He currently resides in New Hampshire.