Pat Summit, the legendary University of Tennessee women's basketball coach, died today at the age of 64. She will be remembered as the all-time winningest Division 1 basketball coach in NCAA history. Her coaching career spanned more than 38 years and she was more than a coach. She was a mentor, a hero and a friend to many. A woman of great faith she will live on in those who knew and loved her.
In 2011 she was diagnosed with early onset dementia but that news never stopped her from living passionately. She stepped down in 2012 as Tennessee’s coach but remained involved holding the position of head coach emeritus. Her accomplishments included eight national championships, NCAA coach of the year seven times, playing for the first women’s basketball Olympic team taking home a silver medal in 1976. She was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Pat Summit was a woman who had an insatiable work ethic. Perhaps is stemmed from growing up on a dairy farm. She began at the University of Tennessee when she was 22 years old and was known for her care and concern for her players. The impact she had on her players is being shared in the media. If she had no persevered women’s basketball would not be where it is today. Her fiery energy and her stare after a bad play will be missed but her legacy will live on.
Thank you for all you have done for women’s sports. May she rest in peace now with her memory fully restored!
Pat Schifini, OSU