Yesterday, the world lost a true pioneer as Pat Summit the legendary Tennessee Lady Vols lost her four-year battle with dementia a form of Alzheimer’s disease. She was the reason I ever watched women’s college basketball! Her basketball resume is unmatched you could put her up against any basketball coach in history men or women she would hold her own.
In her 38 seasons she shattered the record books while creating the “dynasty” and brand of Tennessee women’s basketball. She has the most career wins (1098) in NCAA history setting the standard for every college coach to chase after. The measuring stick for every coach is championships, she definitely accomplished that goal, cutting down the nets eight times in her record 31 NCAA tournament appearances.
Additionally, she was the National Coach of the year seven times and the SEC coach of the year eight times. She not only transformed the University of Tennessee she also transformed women’s basketball in the Olympics, she led team USA to five gold medals and four silver medals. She did it all, as a coach and the legacy will never be matched.
More importantly, she cared about every single player and person involved at the University of Tennessee. She expected perfection on the court and in the classroom. She achieved something that is unthinkable in today’s age of winning is all that matters, she had a 100% graduation rate not only molding great basketball players, but well-rounded well spoken women.
Every college program should be modeled after what Summit created on and off the court in Knoxville. It was a sisterhood the lessons Summit taught her players will live on forever.The world and the game of basketball will not be the same without coach Summits’ wisdom. Rest in peace you will be missed!