Cardinal Gibbons High School basketball coach Ray Mullis, ** who had the metropolitan area's finest won-lost record, died yesterday of pancreatic cancer at St. Agnes Hospital. He was 60.
Mr. Mullis, whose 620 career victories at Cardinal Gibbons in 31 years rank him second in the state behind suburban Washington's DeMatha Catholic coach Morgan Wootten, had been hospitalized since last Thursday.
Because of his illness, Mr. Mullis had missed two of Cardinal Gibbons' first nine games. His final victory was a 67-45 victory over Gilman last Tuesday, bringing his career record to 620-346. His tenure at Cardinal Gibbons lasted through seven U.S. presidents.
Cardinal Gibbons (9-2), currently ranked No. 10 in the area, was playing today in the consolation game of the Stop DWI Tournament in Binghamton, N.Y. Mike Dahlem and Bryan Moorhouse, long-time assistants to Mr. Mullis, are handling coaching duties.
"Obviously, everyone is very hurt," said Mr. Dahlem, who has been at Gibbons for 17 years. "The kids are basically dealing with it in their own way. Some of the players have their families here, making it a little easier."
Mr. Mullis won 30 league and tournament championships. He won his 600th game last season and the Crusaders won the Catholic League tournament title for a record sixth time. Gibbons has had 18 consecutive winning seasons.
In July, Mr. Mullis was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In September, a banquet was held in his honor at Martin's West with many former players and coaching colleagues, including Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski and Xavier College coach Skip Prosser, in attendance.
A native of Graston, Ga., Mr. Mullis attended Mercy University and the University of Maryland and in 1962 received a B.S. in physical education. He remained at College Park to work on his Master's degree and accepted a graduate assistant position in the athletic department under Jim Kehoe, then the athletic director. He accepted an offer to teach and coach at Cardinal Gibbons in 1964.
"No one had a greater love for Gibbons than he did," said Mr.
Dahlem. "He always had the best interest in mind for the kids, the school and the community."
Mr. Mullis is survived by his wife, Mary; two sons, Tyrus and Cletus; a daughter, Estelle; and three grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.