The End of an Era on Rocky Top … Legendary Womans’s NCAA Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball Coach Pat Summit Steps Down

 

An Icon steps down …

It is the end of an era at the University of Tennessee as Pat Summitt, the winiest NCAA basketball coach steps down. After 38 years, an incredible 1,098 victories and eight NCAA titles, P as the head coach of the Lady Vols, the legendary Pat Summitt will no longer grace the sidelines. What a sad yet expected day at Good Ol’ Rocky Top. It is safe to say that no sport will ever see another coach like Pat Summitt, ever! She was a true original and a pioneer of the game. No one, but no one had the stare and the intensity of Pat Summitt. All I can say is Thank you Pat!

Pat Summitt is stepping aside as Tennessee’s head coach after 38 seasons, the last an emotionally draining farewell tour for the woman who won more games than anyone else in NCAA college basketball history.

“I’ve loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role,” the 59-year-old Hall of Famer said in a statement issued Wednesday by the school.

Summitt will discuss the move, including the promotion of longtime assistant Holly Warlick as her replacement, at a Thursday news conference on the court named in her honor the night she won her 1,000th game. Making the decision had been only a matter of time since Summitt revealed Aug. 23 that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

Pat Summitt dresses up like cheerleader and sings Rocky Top

VIDEO

Let me preface this by saying that I am a long time and huge University of Connecticut Lady Huskies fan; however, there is no coach that I respect more than Pat Summitt. Without Pat and the amazing run of the Lady Vols there would be no woman’s NCAA basketball. The Vols, Louisiana Tech, Old Dominian, Stanford and UCONN made it cool to watch and root for woman’s college basketball. That being said, Pat Summitt was probably the most fiery and demanding coach in the game with all due deference to Geno and Bobby Knight. Pat Summitt expected the best out of her player on and off the court. Comment from UCONN Lady Huskies coach Geno Auriemma:

“Pat’s vision for the game of women’s basketball and her relentless drive pushed the game to a new level and made it possible for the rest of us to accomplish what we did,” Auriemma said. “In her new role, I’m sure she will continue to make significant impacts to the University of Tennessee and to the game of women’s basketball as a whole.

Press Conference to be held Thursday:

Tennessee has scheduled a news conference Thursday afternoon in Knoxville with Summitt and Warlick.

Tennessee vice chancellor and athletic director Dave Hart called Summitt “an inspiration to everyone.”

“It is extremely difficult to adequately express what Pat Summitt has meant to the University of Tennessee, the sport of basketball, and the growth of women’s athletics nationally,” Hart said. “She is an icon who does not view herself in that light, and her legacy is well-defined and everlasting. Just like there will never be another John Wooden, there will never be another Pat Summitt.”

Sadly earlier this year we learned that Coach Summitt had been diagnosed with early onset dementia. This day was not unexpected; however, so many had hoped it would never come. Pat Summitt will be missed.

Sad and stunning news out of Rocky Top nation and Knoxville, Tennessee. Legendary Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt announced today that she has been diagnosed with early onset dementia. Stunned, I am completely stunned. Pat Summitt, not only the greatest NCAA coach in the woman’s game, past present and future … she might be top 5 NCAA basketball coaches all-time, men’s or woman’s game. I am just stunned and speechless and that does not happen often. Pat Summitt was a pioneer before it was even en vogue to be so.

On a personal note, I was at UT-Knoxville one weekend watching a Tennessee – University of SC football game. Prior to the game my buddy and I walked into the basketball facility and low and behold who was practicing but the Lady Vols with Pat Summitt at court side ripping the girls a new one as if they were playing in a national Championship game. It was a sight to behold and hear. However, that is what separates the good coaches from the elite. Always having an eye for detail and maintaining the intensity even during an off-season practice. The kicker to this was that the Lady Vols were playing men on the court and owning them.

Thank you Pat Summitt and God Bless!

Posted April 19, 2012 by
NCAA, Sports | no comments


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