Big Orange Tipoff Club

Ernie Grunfeld, John Ward and Sonny Smith will be among the featured speakers at the newly established Big Orange Tipoff Club, a primary booster organization for Tennessee men's and women's basketball.

Ward, the legendary Voice of the Vols for 30 years, will be the inaugural speaker Jan. 11. Grunfeld will be the final speaker. His appearance is set for March 1.

All meetings except for the March 1 gathering will be buffet luncheons starting at 11:30 a.m. at Calhoun's on the River. Grunfeld will address the group at 5:30 p.m. prior to the Senior Night game against Kentucky.

Here is the speaker list:

Jan. 11 - John Ward, former Voice of the Vols

Jan. 19 - UT men's coach Bruce Pearl

Jan. 25 - Women's speaker

Feb. 1 - Don DeVoe, former UT coach

Feb. 8 - Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt

Feb. 15 - Sonny Smith, former Auburn coach

Feb. 22 - Bob Gibbons, recruiting analyst

March 1 - Ernie Grunfeld, former UT All-American

Individual membership dues are $60, $50 for senior citizens. Spouses of members are free. Corporate memberships are $250.

Lloyd Richardson, captain of the 1972 UT men's basketball team, is president of the Big Orange Tipoff Club. To join, call 588-5433 or FAX a request to 588-2083, or e-mail to

Former UT coach Ray Mears is honorary chairman of the club. Some of the membership proceeds will be donated to the Ray Mears Scholarship Fund at UT.

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