Ray Mears, the winningest coach in University of Tennessee basketball history, passed away at 1:15 p.m. Monday at NHC Health Care Center in Knoxville.
Born Nov. 8, 1926, Mears was 80 years old. Arrangements are pending and will be announced by Rose Mortuary-Mann Heritage Chapel.
A native of Dover, Ohio, Mears coached the Vols for 15 years from 1963-77. During his term, Mears tallied a remarkable record of 278-112, equaling an astounding .713 winning percentage.
“Coach Mears was a true Tennessee legend,” said University of Tennessee athletics director Mike Hamilton in a release Monday evening.
“He created a tradition of basketball success, pageantry, and fan support by which all future basketball teams and coaches will be measured. When speaking with fans of Coach Mears or one of his former players, everyone has a Stokely story or a memory of his great showmanship. He made a difference, he made an impression and he had great vision. He will be missed.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.