Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ray Cheetany began his college career at Iowa Central Community College, but then signed with UNLV in 1998 because he loved the great city of Las Vegas. Ray knew then that, if he didn’t make it in the NFL, he wanted to be in a place where he could continue to live and work after college – and Las Vegas was that place!
From 1999 to 2000, Ray played football for NFL and NCAA Hall of Fame Coach John Robinson, and played his final game for UNLV in the Las Vegas Bowl in 2000 where the Rebels beat the Arkansas Razorbacks 31-14.
In 1999, in his Junior year, Ray was named one of the Top 10 Special Teams Players in the nation by Sports Illustrated. In 2000, as a Senior, he was named First Team All American Punter by Street & Smith’s Magazine. His attitude made the 5’11”, 180-pound punter/kicker a personal favorite of John Robinson who told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “Ray is a great competition guy. He is a natural athlete. If his heart was in a tailback or quarterback, he’d be a Heisman (Trophy) candidate.”
Ray was also recognized as the highest graded player at his position by National Football Scouting Inc. In 2001, he signed as a free agent with the Tennessee Titans.
Because Las Vegas was the city that captured Ray’s heart early on, he has continued to live here full time since 2002. He continues to believe that Las Vegas has everything a “normal” city has – and a whole lot more. Everything is open 24/7, and Las Vegas is close to everywhere – you can be in the snow or water in 30 minutes.
Las Vegas has been great to Ray Cheetany and his family. For that reason, he continues to be heavily involved with UNLV Football by serving on the UNLV Football Foundation as a board member, keeping in touch with former Rebels, and attending as many home games, and even away games, as possible.
As to his business career, Ray currently serves as Distributor Manager for Diageo Beer Company USA.