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Ray Mears

Class of 2008


Ray Mears

  • Ray Mears

Birthdate: November 8, 1926
Birthplace: Dover, Ohio
High School: Dover High School (1944)
College: Miami University (1949)
Died: June 11, 2007
Year Inducted: 2008

As a coach, Ray Mears began his career at Cadiz High School.  After a two-year stint in the Army, he was head coach at West Tech High School in Cleveland while getting his Master’s Degree at Kent State University.  Ray Mears established winning traditions at Wittenberg University and the University of Tennessee. He took over Wittenberg’s struggling program in 1956 and immediately turned the Springfield school into a small college powerhouse. In six seasons his teams had a 121-23 record. They won four straight Ohio Conference titles and the 1962 NCAA college division crown. He coached such Wittenberg stars as Bert Price, George Fisher, Al Thrasher and Terry Deems. In 15 years, his Tennessee teams had a 278-112 record, won three Southeastern Conference crowns and had a 15-15 mark against arch-rival Kentucky. His UT players included Ron Widby, Tom Boerwinkle, Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld. Ray Mears died on June 11, 2007 in Knoxville, Tennessee.