Dale Burns Obituary – Death, Former Tennessee Basketball Coach and Arby’s Classic Tournament Founder is Dead

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Dale Burns of Tennessee obituary – Death

Former Tennessee High basketball coach and founder of Arby’s Classic tournament Dale Burns, died on Tuesday 7th of September, 2021 at age 74. He started his career at Ketron, his alma mater, where he coached baseball and track in addition to basketball.

Over the course of his career, he has won over 500 games in over 27 seasons with the Vikings after which he moved to King where he served as the institution’s athletic director. Future NBA players like Ray Allen, Mario Chalmers and Tim Hardaway Jr. played in the Arby’s and this has given it a wide recognition.

In the year 2013, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Big 8 Conference.

Cause of death

According to Barry Wade, Burns lost the battle to Pancreatic Cancer. The statement said:

“My father-in-law passed away with pancreatic cancer and it was one of the most devastating painful experiences that you can have”

Funeral arrangement

There is no news yet from the family concerning funeral arrangements or visitation time. Nothing prepares a person for the loss of a loved one and so at a dire time like this, we extend our warmest condolences to the family of the deceased.


Mike Brown
I have been notified that my Coach from High School has passed away today. Coach Dale Burns, to this player, was more than a Coach. He was different because he truly cared for his players. I learned a lot about Basketball, but I learned more about life. You will be missed deeply Coach Burns!

Chris Bartlett 
Woke up this morning to very sad news… my Friend, Mentor and former AD: Coach Dale Burns has passed. I just spoke with Coach a few months back and had no idea he was even sick. Its like a punch in the gut, knowing I can never tell Coach again how important he was to me and so many others! Definitely a reminder to reach out to all those in your life you are thankful for, life is short, Love is forever!
Coach Burns empowered his Staff, mentored his Student-Athletes and and was probably the best boss anyone could ever ask for. Loyal, dependable, caring… not enough words, We lost a Special Man, Coach and Leader.

Greg Bradley
Prayers for friend of mines family. Dale Burns went to paradise today. Dale and Bill Bingham started the famous Arby’s Classic basketball tournament. Dale coached Tennessee high basketball for years. King college athletic director. RIP brother. You will be missed.