Funeral for ex-Vol Chancey is today

Funeral services are scheduled for 6 p.m. this evening at Bearden United Methodist Church for Ralph Chancey, co-captain (with Hal Littleford) of the 1949 University of Tennessee football team and a Vol assistant coach from 1950-63. Chancey died Thursday night at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center at age 80.

Chancey came to UT from Cleveland, Tenn., where he was a standout fullback and linebacker at Bradley County High School. Chancey entered UT in 1942 and lettered as a fullback from 1946-49 after service in World War II from 1943-46 interrupted his career on the Hill. He was inducted into the Bradley County Hall of Fame in 1984. Chancey also played basketball at UT in his freshman year of 1942.

He was an assistant at Tennessee from 1950-63 on the staffs of four coaches, Bob Neyland (1950-52), Harvey Robinson (1953-54), Bowden Wyatt (1955-62) and Jim McDonald (1963). Two of his most treasured experiences came in his first two years on the Vols staff, in 1950 and 1951, when he coached defensive backs and linebackers for the Vols' national championship teams, widely considered two of the top squads in UT history.

He moved to West Virginia in 1964 and remained there as defensive coordinator under Gene Corum until he returned to Knoxville as general manager with Post and Company in 1966. He returned to UT in 1979, serving under head coach Johnny Majors, a player and an assistant coach during Chancey's tenure. He retired in 1988.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lennis Burgess Chancey, and three children, son Steve, a Vol football player from 1971-73, and wife, Sylvia, son Scott and wife, Judy, and daughter Cindy and husband, Eddie Foster. There are two sisters, Rose Griffith and Barbara Crox, both of Cleveland, Tenn., and five grandchildren.

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