Feb 26, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Lady Volunteers head coach Pat Summitt waits on a senior player during the senior appreciation ceremony before the game against the Florida Gators at Thompson Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-US PRESSWIRE
In a move that is not surprising but is still momentous, Pat Summitt is stepping down as head women's basketball coach at Tennessee. It ends her 38-year career in Knoxville.
Summitt publicly revealed her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type prior to last season in August. With the school's blessing, she still continued as the head coach of the Lady Vols, though associate head coach Holly Warlick took over some of her responsibilities. Warlick will become the new head coach, while Summitt will get the title of "coach emeritus".
It's still unclear to everyone what precisely a coach emeritus does, though a few roles are known. Summitt will be able to go to practice, interact with players, and call recruits. She won't be leading the team, however, as that will be the domain of Summitt's 27-year former assistant Warlick.
When looking at her career, it's more difficult to find some kind of championship or title she hasn't won. Let's start with the basics: at 1,098 wins, she's the all-time winningest head coach on any level in any NCAA sanctioned sport. That she won all those games with only 208 losses (.840 winning percentage) is even more remarkable. She has won the national title eight times, SEC title 16 times, and SEC tournament 16 times. She's been SEC Coach of the Year eight times and national Coach of the Year seven times. She even coached the USA women's basketball team to gold medals in both the Olympics and Pan Am games.
Summitt is both an SEC legend and one of the great advocates of women's basketball. It won't be the same without her roaming the sidelines anymore.