| Wins against Kentucky - 15 | Losses against Kentucky - 15 |
Alma Mater: Miami (OH)  (*)
Hometown: Dover, OH
Date Born: November 8, 1926
Date Died: June 11, 2007
Overall Record: 399-135 [21 Seasons]
|3/5/1977||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||79 - 81||-|
|1/12/1977||Tennessee at Kentucky||L||67 - 71 OT||-|
|2/7/1976||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||85 - 92||-|
|1/10/1976||Tennessee at Kentucky||L||88 - 90 OT||-|
|2/15/1975||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||98 - 103||-|
|1/13/1975||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||88 - 82||-|
|2/16/1974||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||61 - 58||-|
|1/14/1974||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||54 - 67||-|
|3/8/1973||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||86 - 81||-|
|1/20/1973||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||64 - 65||-|
|3/9/1972||Kentucky at Tennessee||W||67 - 66||-|
|1/22/1972||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||72 - 70||-|
|3/6/1971||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||84 - 78||-|
|1/16/1971||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||71 - 75||-|
|3/7/1970||Kentucky at Tennessee||W||86 - 69||-|
|1/17/1970||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||68 - 52||-|
|3/8/1969||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||84 - 69||-|
|1/18/1969||Kentucky at Tennessee||W||69 - 66||1st Program in NCAA history to win 1000 games (current NCAA listing)|
|2/12/1968||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||60 - 59||-|
|1/22/1968||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||59 - 87||-|
|2/13/1967||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||57 - 76||-|
|1/23/1967||Tennessee at Kentucky||L||50 - 52 2 OT||-|
|3/5/1966||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||62 - 69||-|
|2/26/1966||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||78 - 64||-|
|2/27/1965||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||61 - 60||-|
|1/16/1965||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||58 - 77||-|
|2/29/1964||Kentucky at Tennessee||W||42 - 38||-|
|1/18/1964||Tennessee at Kentucky||W||66 - 57||-|
|3/2/1963||Kentucky at Tennessee||L||55 - 63||-|
|1/19/1963||Tennessee at Kentucky||L||69 - 78 OT||-|
Obituary - Associated Press (June 12, 2007)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., June 11 (AP) -- Ray Mears, the Tennessee basketball coach who during 15 seasons with the Volunteers guided the future N.B.A. players Ernie Grunfeld and Bernard King in what was called the Ernie and Bernie Show, died Monday. He was 80.
His death was announced by a university spokesman, who said Mears had been in declining health for some time.
Mear's teams at Tennessee had a record of 278-112 from 1962 to 1978 and won or shared Southeastern Conference titles in 1967, 1972 and 1977. The 1967 championship was the university's first in 24 years. Three of Mears's teams qualified for the N.C.A.A. tournament before it expanded in 1975. Before that, only one team from each conference made the tournament. Mears coached Grunfeld and King in the mid-1970s. Both were former New York City high school stars. King went on to become an N.B.A. All-Star, playing for the Knicks and the Nets, among other teams. Grunfeld played for the Knicks and was the team's general manager in the 1990s.
In the days before the shot clock, Mears's teams at Tennessee were known for their deliberate offense -- a style of play that infuriated Kentucky's Hall of Fame coach, Adolph Rupp, Mears's main rival.
To prove his point, Rupp once had someone count the number of times Tennessee players dribbled before shooting.
Mears was also known for his promotional flair. He spearheaded the idea of Big Orange Country as the designated region for school support. He reveled in wearing bright orange blazers and enjoyed parading along the sideline to agitate opponents. In the 1960s, he even allowed one of his players to ride a unicycle on the court to entertain the crowd during pregame warm-ups.
Before joining Tennessee, Mears coached at Wittenberg University in Ohio, compiling a record of 121-23, including the Division II national title in 1961.
After leaving coaching, he was athletic director at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 1980 to 1989. He played college basketball at Miami University in Ohio.
He is survived by his wife, Dana; and three sons, Steve, Mike and Matt.
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