Pat Summitt, the prolific women’s basketball coach from the University of Tennessee, passed away with family, friends and former players by her side on Tuesday (Jun. 28), after a five-year long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She was 64 years old
Summitt, who was a Hall of Fame coach, had one of the most decorated coaching careers in the history of college basketball. In her 38 years of coaching for Tennessee’s Lady Volunteers, she and her players won eight national titles and 1,098 games, the most out of any Division 1 school team- male or female. Her teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament 31 consecutive times.
The road to excellence did not come easily. CNN writes, “When she became head coach of the Lady Vols in 1974 at the age of 22 — barely older than some of her players — the NCAA did not even formally recognize women’s basketball. Summitt had to drive the team van to road games herself.”
“She’ll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many,” her son Tyler said. “She was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure.”
Rest in peace.
— Vol Photos (@Vol_Photos) June 28, 2016
Blessed to be coached and mentored by a trail blazer! She changed the world 1 by 1. #greatness#Legend#161💪🏾🏀 pic.twitter.com/KXktr8vBiK
— Jody Adams (@coachjodyadams) June 27, 2016
Statement from Peyton Manning on the passing of Pat Summitt. pic.twitter.com/M9AJ7UlWpi
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) June 28, 2016