Community Mourns Loss of Professor and Everyday Hero Daniel Raines

Professor Daniel Raines, owner and head coach of Team Raines Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and former teacher at Ricardo Almeida Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, is being laid to rest this weekend. Raines was lost in a tragic motorcycle accident in the Durham area of North Carolina when his bike collided with a slowed pickup truck. The professor would have been 39-years-old next month.

A self-identified “mad scientist,” Raines was truly a gentleman and a scholar, working as a geologist for the state and private environmental firms. In addition to running and teaching at Team Raines BJJ with his martial artist wife, Kelly, Raines also spent time working with competitors in the Special Olympics of New Jersey. Students and coworkers remembered him as someone who “truly made a difference,” and have shared stories of the ways Raines worked to better the lives of those less fortunate:

He and his family shared a love of animals, running The Big Pig Animal Sanctuary, which rescues and rehabs neglected or abused farm animals like Dan’s pig, Ruby.

Raines is survived by his wife Kelly, adopted son, both parents, and his siblings. If you’d like to help his family with funeral costs and support while they process this loss, you can do so by donating here.

Those wishing to honor Raines and his considerable contributions to the community can do so by donating directly to Big Pig Sanctuary at the following link:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here