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Ray Russell Bentley (born November 25, 1960) is a former professional American football linebacker, broadcaster, and author.

Ray Bentley
Personal information
Born: (1960-11-25) November 25, 1960 (age 59)
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
College:Central Michigan
Career history
As player:
As coach:
As executive:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at
Head coaching record
Regular season:17–21–0 (.447)
Postseason:0–2–0 (.000)
Career:17–23–0 (.425)


Playing careerEdit

Bentley's first three years in professional football were spent with the Michigan Panthers and Oakland Invaders of the United States Football League.

He later joined the Buffalo Bills, and played six seasons with the team, including their first two Super Bowl years in the 1990s.[1] Bentley's career ended with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1992, in which he set the team's franchise record for the longest fumble return touchdown (75 yards).[2]

Broadcasting careerEdit

Bentley worked as part of the NFL on Fox broadcast team for four years from 1998 to 2001, doing both color commentary and play-by-play.[1] He left Fox for a position as head coach and general manager of the Arena Football League's Buffalo Destroyers,[3] and held that position for two years before resigning.

From 2003 to 2006, Bentley was a color commentator alongside play-by-play man Bob Papa on NBC's Arena Football League coverage,[1] and since 2003 has served in that capacity for ESPN.[4] In 2007, Bentley returned to the Buffalo Bills as a play-by-play announcer for their preseason television games, a role he still serves. He is also an advisory member for the revival of the USFL.

From 2009 to 2016 Bentley was a radio personality on 107.3 in Grand Rapids MI. In 2012 he was the linebacker coach for the Grandville Bulldogs. Ray is currently a defensive coordinator for the high school team Byron Center Bulldogs.


Bentley is the author of a series of children's books about the character of Darby the Dinosaur.[5] In 2015, Bentley authored the fictional novel Driftwood[6] which draws extensively from his experiences in football.


  1. ^ a b c "Ray Bentley ESPN MediaZone". ESPN. October 27, 2009. Archived from the original on July 6, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2010.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Ray Bentley named Destroyers new coach". OurSports Central. May 8, 2000. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "BILLS' BENTLEY GIVING DARBY THE DINOSAUR A `SUPER' SPOTLIGHT". Deseret News. January 27, 1991. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  6. ^ Bentley, Ray (June 24, 2015). Driftwood. Five Count Publishing LLC.