Pat Summitt steps down as Lady Vols head coach

Pat Summitt steps down as Lady Vols head coach (Image 1)

Tennessee's Pat Summitt has stepped aside as head coach of the Lady Vols basketball team.

Holly Warlick, an assistant on the Tennessee staff for 27 seasons, has been named Summitt's successor and will assume head coaching duties for the Tennessee women's basketball program.

In announcing Summitt's resignation Wednesday, the university named Summitt head coach emeritus.

In that capacity she will report to Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart and will serve in a variety of endeavors.

She will continue to serve the women's basketball program and its coaching staff and as a liaison to the director of athletics, remain involved in on-campus recruiting and serve as a personal mentor to players, including life skills coaching.

Summitt is the all-time wins leader among NCAA basketball coaches with 1,098 victories at Tennessee in 38 seasons.
“I've loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role,” Summit said in a release.  “I support Holly Warlick being named the next head coach, and I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward.”

Summitt said she would also continue her active role as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer's through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund.

The 59-year-old announced last August that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

During Summitt's time as head coach, the Lady Vols won an unparalleled eight national championships and played in 13 national championship games.

Summitt was named SEC Coach of the Year eight times and NCAA Coach of the Year in seven seasons.

Her sixth national championship team in 1997-98 finished a perfect 39-0.

Additionally, the Tennessee women's basketball team has reached the NCAA Final Four 18 times, tied with the UCLA and North Carolina men for the most all-time by a college basketball program.

Summitt's 18 trips to the Final Four is the most all-time among coaches, and her eight national titles trails only the 10 won by former UCLA coach John Wooden in Division I college basketball.

“Without Pat, I really don't know where women's basketball would be today. The impact she has had on the game itself is immeasurable and her influence on so many people connected with the game has been even greater,” Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb said.

Balcomb continued, “Professionally, she has been my example of how not only to win, but to win with class and dignity. I feel blessed to have gotten to know her on a personal level and experience first hand the loyalty and compassion she shows for the people in her life. It is a sad day for the game, but I am confident that we will still feel her impact in the game for a long time to come.”

A 1974 graduate of UT Martin with a degree in physical education, Summitt earned her master's degree in physical education from UT Knoxville in 1975.

Her son, Tyler, was a member of the men's basketball team who graduates with a degree in communications studies from UT Knoxville this May.

Summitt was named Tennessean of the Year earlier this month and will be honored May 19 in Nashville.

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