Pat Summitt, legendary hall of famer coach of basketball and life, died on June 28, 2016 due to problems with early onset dementia after coaching the Tennessee Volunteers for 38 seasons. And having an impressive winning record for each and every one of those seasons.
Summitt, born on June 14, 1952, was such an inspiration to her players on and off the court. Throughout her 38 seasons at University of Tennessee, she led her team (Lady Vols) to 8 national championships and 16 SEC titles; one of which being the season following the diagnosis of early onset dementia in August 2011. Currently holding the record for most wins in college basketball history; 1,098 total wins. Pat was a legend by the numbers and as they say “Numbers Never Lie”. Having 18 Final Four appearances, 114 NCAA Tournament victories, and 1 undefeated season. She’s definitely a winner. She has coached and “created” a ton of phenomenal players that play in the WNBA, such as two-time league MVP Candace Parker, Tamika Catchings, Kara Lawson, plus 158 other star ballers.
Along with Summitt’s and the Lady Vols’ 1000+ wins on the hardwood, she also has wins in the community and nationwide. Being honored from the President of the United States to simple satisfaction of giving. In 2012, Pat Summitt was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama for the recognition of her tremendous contribution to the interest and necessities of the nation.
Pat Summitt was undoubtedly historical, passionate and more than a college basketball coach. She held so much power to build or tear down any and everybody. She always maintained a positive attitude on any situation thrown at her. Even when she was diagnosed with a fatal disease, she returned to coaching the girls at Tennessee for one more year before she would retire. Then comes the induction into the hall of fame in 2000
“Let’s go battle it and we will win” – Summitt after she is diagnosed
- Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year – 2011
- Arthur Ashe Courage Award – 2012
- Presidential Medal of Freedom – 2012
- Best Coach/Manager ESPY Award – 2008
- Glamour Woman of the Year Award – 1998
- Legends of Coaching Award – 2008
- Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year – 1987, 1989, 1998, 2004
- Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s Basketball – 2013
“I think today I am carrying a lot of my heart for her and playing for her and we’re playing this game[Basketball] because of her” – Candice Parker to ESPN’s Holly Rowe
Instead of losing sleep, shedding tears, and reminiscing, Parker chooses to play and work even harder as a tribute to Pat Summitt and what she has done to advance the game of basketball and all sports. Living by one quote.
“The world isnt a place you live in, its a place you change” – Pat Summitt