In Memoriam: Patricia Sue Head Summitt, 1952-2016

Pat SummittPat Summitt, one of the greatest figures in the history of women’s college basketball, died on June 28 from complications associated with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 64 years old.

Coach Summitt had more wins as a college basketball coach than anyone on the planet, male or female. She achieved a remarkable record of 1,098 wins against 208 losses as head of the women’s basketball program at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for 38 years. She won eight national championships, 32 Southeastern Conference championships, and took her team to the NCAA tournament in 31 consecutive years.

A native of Clarksdale, Tennessee, Summitt graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She won a silver medal as a member of the USA women’s basketball team at the Summer Olympics in Montreal in 1976. She won a gold medal eight years later as coach of the women’s team at the 1984 games in Los Angeles.

In 2011, Summitt was diagnosed with early onset dementia, yet she continued to coach that season and accomplished a record of 27-9. In 2012, she was named head coach emeritus but remained active at the university.

In 2011, the Sporting News named Summitt among the 50 greatest coaches of all time. She was the only woman on the list. In 2012, President Obama presented her with the Medal of Freedom.

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