There will be a lot of sports stories today--the Stanley Cup playoffs, NBA teams making a final push to the playoffs, baseball scores, etc.--but none of them will have the lasting significance that the news coming out of Knoxville today did.
After thirty-seven years as the coach of the Lady Vols and the face of women's college basketball, Pat Summit is stepping down as the head coach at the University of Tennessee. She leaves with a legacy of winning, tradition and transcending the game. Among all of her impressive stats, it's not the SEC titles, the multiple twenty win seasons, the Final Four appearances or the national titles that will leave the longest lasting legacy. It's the fact that for thirty-seven years every young lady who stepped onto the court at Tennessee graduated. One hundred percent. That's one hell of a legacy.
I feel fortunate that I was able to be a fan of the Lady Vols and Pat Summit during one of the golden ages of Lady Vols basketball.
It's going to be strange next year when the Lady Vols take the court for the first time and Pat isn't on the sidelines, making changes, glaring at players and running the team.
When we got word of her health last year, we all knew this day was coming.
As a fan of Tennessee, it came too soon. My thoughts and prayers go out to Summit and her family during this time.
As does my thanks to Pat Summit. She elevated the game of women's basketball to a new level. She did it with dignity, grace and a commitment to making her players better people when they left the doors of Tennessee than when they entered. She was a classy, intelligent, motivated person and truly one of the greatest who has ever or will ever coach.
I'd wished the Lady Vols could have won it all this last year and sent Pat out on top. But in the end, that doesn't really matter. She was going to go out on top no matter what.
Thank you, Pat Summit for all you did for the Lady Vols. I know you'll still be around as coach emeritus, bt somehow it just won't be the same without you on the sidelines coaching our Lady Vols.
Labels: tennessee, tennessee basketball, tennessee sports
posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/18/2012 07:01:00 PM