Pat Summitt, an icon and legendary figure in the world of women’s college basketball, has passed away at age 64.
BREAKING: Legendary Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt has died. She was 64. pic.twitter.com/ldlKsnTyNx— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 28, 2016
Summitt, who served as the women’s basketball coach for the Tennessee Volunteers from 1974 to 2012, had dealt with health issues related to Alzheimer’s disease since the summer of 2011. She passed away early Tuesday morning after succumbing to complications related to the disease she battled for the last five years.
During her coaching career at UT, Summitt brought the Lady Vols to unbelievable heights. They would win eight NCAA championships, the most recent coming in 2008, 16 SEC championships, most recently in 2011, and 16 SEC Tournament championships, the final coming in her in last year as head coach in 2012. She won the NCAA Coach of the Year award seven times, was the recipient of the SEC Coach of the Year award eight times, and was also elected as the Naismith Coach of the 20th Century. Summitt was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in the year 2000, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
She would amass 1,098 victories as the head coach at UT, good enough for a win percentage of .841. That mark is only bested by Geno Auriemma and Leon Barmore, as she finds herself in rarified air. She would amass the most wins in NCAA Tournament history, 112, and the most No. 1 seeds in tourney history, 21, as well as a host of other records and accomplishments in her celebrated career.
Consistency was a hallmark for her Lady Vols as they would make the NCAA Tournament each year from 1982-2012 and appeared in 18 Final Fours, the most ever for any head coach in men’s or women’s basketball. The 1997-98 season is perhaps the most impressive season in her tenure in Knoxville, as she would help direct Chamique Holdsclaw, Kellie Jolly, Tamika Catchings and others to an undefeated season to cap off the journey to a then-third-straight National Championship.
In short, Pat Summitt was as iconic as they come in the sport of women’s college basketball, and in the sports world as well. She will be missed.