Monday, April 23, 2012
Top of the Summitt
We're huge basketball fans in my family. One team we always root for is the University of Tennessee Women's Basketball Team. Until about a week ago, the team was led by legendary Coach Pat Summitt. She recently stepped down because of her battle with early-onset dementia. Pat is a legend in our family not just because she is an amazing coach, but because she is an extraordinary woman.
Most people know Pat's coaching stats:
8 NCAA championships
1st women's basketball coach to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated
Made an appearance in the NCAA tournament every single year she's coached.
More Tennessee players have been drafted into the WNBA than from any other school.
Her players have a 100% graduation rate, which in the college sports world is unheard of. (Take that Coach K.) She's run a clean program with no major coaching violations. She didn't buy any players a house to get them to come play for her, *cough* Pete Carroll. She was intense on the court, but kept it classy and never threw a chair.
Pat was not just a coach to her players, she was a surrogate mother. When players came to Tennessee, they didn't just go to college, they joined a family. She's single-handedly put women's basketball on the map so it's hard to describe in a few sentences what Pat Summitt has meant to her players and to college sports. In this day and age, when coaches are in the news for fiscal impropriety, adultery, and cheating, it's refreshing to know that there are still people like Pat out there. To Pat, I wish you a long, healthy, prosperous life. Thank you for the impact you made on basketball and on young women everywhere.