Sports

Former Tennessee basketball coach Mears dead at 80

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Ray Mears, the Tennessee basketball coach who presided over the "Ernie and Bernie show" during his 15 seasons guiding the Volunteers, died Monday. He was 80.

Mears, a fan favorite and showman who became the winningest men's coach in Tennessee history, died Monday afternoon at a Knoxville nursing home. Funeral plans were pending.

Bruce Pearl, who has adopted the bright orange blazer favored by Mears -- the man credited with coining the term "Big Orange Country" -- said he "brought a style of play and atmosphere to Tennessee basketball that will always be treasured."

In the mid-1970s, Mears coached future NBA players Ernie Grunfeld and Bernard King.

"He was a great leader, innovator and an extremely competitive person," Grunfeld, now president of basketball operations for the NBA's Washington Wizards, said Monday.

Mears' Tennessee teams went 278-112 between 1962 and 1978. The Vols won or shared Southeastern Conference titles in 1967, 1972 and 1977. The 1967 championship was the school's first in 24 years.

• Jim Killingsworth, who took over a struggling TCU basketball team in the 1980s and coached the Horned Frogs to the NCAA tournament, has died. He was 83.

Killingsworth died Sunday of complications from a stroke last month at his home in Owasso, Okla., the university said.

Killingsworth retired after that season, with a 130-106 record in eight seasons.

• PRO BASKETBALL -- The Orlando Magic are offering refunds to fans who bought season tickets just after Billy Donovan's hiring.

More than 200 packages sold within 24 hours of the announcement that the Magic had lured Donovan away from Florida, where he won two straight NCAA titles. Donovan changed his mind a day after his May 31 introduction, deciding to return to the Gators.

The Magic said they were contacting individual fans who bought tickets within 48 hours of the Donovan announcement.

• LOCAL BASEBALL -- The Carolina Reds 12U team finished second in the "Beast of the East" USSSA baseball tournament this past weekend.

The Reds defeated the South Carolina Crushers, the top ranked AA team in the state, 14-11 and the Yadkin Mudcats 6-4 to make the championship game against the Boiling Springs Bombers.

The Bombers scored nine runs in the first inning, but the Reds battled back before losing 9-8. The Reds play this weekend in The Carolina Summer Slugfest in Gastonia, N.C.

• The Carolina Reds 15U Show Case Baseball Team improved their record to 12-1 by going 4-0 this past weekend at the Diamond Devil Winthrop University Show Case Tournament.

The Reds defeated the Palmetto Sand Gnats 9-0 with Chad Smith getting the win.

The Reds then defeated the Elkins Eagles 14-1 behind the pitching of Brad Zebedis.

On Saturday, the Reds defeated the Diamond Devil 15U Black Team, 5-4 as Jesse Brewer threw a complete game.

On Sunday, the Reds completed the sweep as Evan Jackson took the win over the Victory Crusaders 16U Team, 6-5.

Offensively, the Reds were lead over the weekend by Josh Bowers 600. batting average followed by Chad Smith's 556. batting average and Josh Greene's 500. batting average.

The Reds will be playing this weekend in Columbia at the Diamond Devil University of South Carolina Show Case Tournament.

• BOXING -- Hector "Macho" Camacho was sentenced to the maximum seven years in prison for burglary, but the eight-time world champion could avoid spending time in a cell.

Harrison County Circuit Judge Steve Simpson suspended six years of the sentence and said Camacho could serve one year under house arrest if authorities in Puerto Rico agree to monitor him. That would be followed by two years' probation.

• PRO TENNIS -- James Blake and Thomas Berdych advanced to the second round of the Gerry Weber Open.

Blake defeated American teenager Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and Berdych spoiled Nicolas Kiefer's return from an injury with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) win.

Four-time champion Federer withdrew from the tournament Monday, siting fatigue after his French Open loss to Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

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