KNOXVILLE, Tenn., June 28 (UPI) — Pat Summitt, legendary coach of the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball program, died Tuesday in Knoxville, Tenn., her family said. She was 64.
Summit announced in 2011 she had Alzheimer’s disease, defiantly noting “It’s not going to keep me from living my life.” She stepped down after 38 years of coaching the following year.
A statement from the Pat Summit Foundation Tuesday by her son, Tyler, said in part, “She died peacefully this morning at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most. … She was more than a coach to so many — she was a hero and a mentor.”
She has more victories, 1,098, than any Division I college basketball coach and her team at the university, the Lady Volunteers, won eight national championships. She was NCAA coach of the year seven times, inducted into several basketball halls of fame and in 2012 received the presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.
Known for an exhausting work ethic and an icy stare when things were not going right on the basketball court, she publicly confronted her health issues and stayed involved in the Lady Vols program after her retirement from coaching.
Summit is survived by her mother, Hazel Albright Head; son, Ross “Tyler” Summitt (AnDe); sister, Linda; brothers, Tommy (Deloris), Charles (Mitzi) and Kenneth (Debbie).