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A look at the career of late UT basketball coach Ray Mears

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See larger University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears, right, with Bobby Knight on Feb. 15, 1970.

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University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears, right, with Bobby Knight on Feb. 15, 1970.

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  • University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears, right, with Bobby Knight on Feb. 15, 1970.
  • University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears in action on Feb. 17, 1970. Mears died at age 80 on June 11, 2007.
  • Ray and Dana Mears with their children, Steve, 5, left, and Mike, 4, on April 19, 1962 in Springfield, Ohio. Mears, 35, had just been named head coach at the University of Tennessee after leading Wittenberg University to four Ohio Athletic conference championships.
  • University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears conducts practice on Oct. 25, 1972. Mears was recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon that he first injured while playing tennis. He re-injured the tendon while walking across a friend's lawn.
  • University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears celebrates during a game in 1974.
  • Tom Boerwinkle, UT basketball player, with Coach Ray Mears.
  • An undated photograph of University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears, left, with University of Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp.
  • Mears pictured in an undated photograph.
  • University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears, pictured here in February 1971, is credited with coining the phrase 'Big Orange Country'.
  • University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears, left, and Assistant Coach Stu Aberdeen pictured in a 1976 photograph.
  • UT basketball Coach Ray Mears in an undated photograph. Mears died at age 80 on June 11, 2007.
  • Former UT players Bill Hann (center) and Bill Justus (right) talk with Dana Mears after funeral services for former University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears. Mears died in June 2007.
  • The tombstone of former University of Tennessee basketball Coach Ray Mears. Mears died at age 80 on June 11, 2007.

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