Michael L. Ray passed away July 10 in Huntsville at the age of 61. He is preceded in death by his parents, Bobby “Fuzzy” Ray and Cora Ann Ray Huddleston of Wichita Falls and his grandparents, Hugh Whigham Smart and Opal Moore Smart of Duncan, Okla. Mike is survived by his son Kyle Michael Ray of Houston and Traci Danene McCombs and her husband Adam Fisher McCombs of Stuttgart, Germany; two grandchildren Morgan Ray McCombs and Micah Fisher McCombs of Stuttgart, Germany as well as his brother Jeffery Wayne Ray and wife Ruth Ann Ray of Wichita Falls.
Mike Ray was born on Feb. 26, 1959 in Okeene, Okla. He moved to Antelope with his parents when he was two, then, when three, to Archer City and there he graduated from Archer City High School in 1977. He played college basketball at Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth and Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. Mike married his former wife Lisa Ann Meurer in 1980; Kyle was born in 1984 and daughter Traci in 1986. Mike coached basketball for twenty-five years for several different standout teams including the Jersey Village Falcons in Jersey Village; the Coppell Cowboys in Coppell; and the Duncanville Panthers in Duncanville.
Mike had a stellar high school and college basketball career. His senior year in high school, the Archer City Wildcats went 28-2. He was known for his incredible shooting abilities and once a career 53 points in a game. His college career ended at Midwestern State University in the NAIA elite eight. In the semi-finals of the District Eight tournament, Mike hit a half court buzzer beater against Paul Quinn College. The shot was waved off because of a timeout. But Mike hit the exact same shot again, in almost the exact same spot. The shot is still considered the most spectacular shot in the history of MSU basketball.
Mike had a long and successful career as a basketball coach. His Jersey Village teams won back to back district championships. His Coppell team reached the quarter finals twice. He was known to get the very best out of every team he coached. Mike chose to end his coaching career to watch his daughter’s high school basketball career. He coached her AAU basketball team to fourth in the nation at the 2004 AAU Nationals. Mike became an assistant principal in 2001. As an assistant principal he oversaw the numerous renovation and construction projects to change the interior and exterior of Jersey Village High School. Mike was a calming presence with a wry sense of humor loved by the kids and teachers alike. Mike enjoyed the company of many golfing buddies at Cypress Lake Golf Club and Houston Oaks Golf Club. There are many to famous shots to tell of as well as journeys to retrieve golf clubs that managed to ‘slip’ out of his hands across the putting green. Most of all, Mike enjoyed spending time with his family. He enjoyed regular dinner dates with his son Kyle, Skype visits with his grandchildren and was always looking forward to his next adventure with Traci.
Mike was a blessed man to have taught, worked with and coached so many wonderful people. He will be deeply missed by the basketball and teaching community of Cypress Fairbanks. A memorial service was scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, July 16, at the Berry Conference Center in Cypress. An intimate funeral service was scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, July 19, at Faith Baptist Church in Wichita Falls. Please join us in celebrating Mike Ray’s life. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be to PaRC Prevention and Recovery Center of Houston.