Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in Division I NCAA basketball history, died Tuesday morning after a years-long battle with early-onset dementia. She was 64.
In 2011, Summitt and her son sat down with The Post’s Sally Jenkins to talk about her diagnosis.
Summitt went 1,098-208 at Tennessee and won eight national titles, a record at the time of her retirement in 2012. A player on the U.S. women’s basketball team that won silver at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, she also coached the team to gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Fave personal Pat Summitt story: Ran into her at LAX and we drank beers for an hour. I asked her every question I could about hoops. RIP.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 28, 2016
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who graduated from Tennessee in 1974 (the same year Summitt’s tenure began), released the following statement:
I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Pat Summitt. Basketball has lost a legend, and Tennessee has lost one of its most beloved daughters.There is perhaps no one who left a more indelible mark on his or her profession than Coach Summitt. Through her 38 years as head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers, she amassed a historic record of achievement and blazed a trail for women across our country. The impact she had on her players, the University of Tennessee, the Knoxville community, and the game of basketball will be felt for years to come. I join all Tennesseans today in celebrating her life and extend my thoughts and prayers to her son, Tyler, the Lady Vol family, and all those who were touched by her remarkable life.
“She made everybody around her feel good. She just had that presence about her where you wanted to be around her,” NFL great Peyton Manning, who attended Tennessee, said Tuesday morning in a telephone interview on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “I’m just grateful for the time and experiences I had with her. …
“Everybody was proud to have Pat Summitt as a representative of the university and the state. … She truly was the best.”
Summitt’s toughest rival, Connecticut Coach Geno Auriemma remembered his competitor in an appearance on ESPN on Tuesday morning.
“There are great coaches that come and go in this profession … and then there are those who will be there forever,” Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, who played for Summitt on the 1984 Olympic team, told “SportsCenter.” “Everybody, generations from now, will know who Pat Summitt is, whether they met her, or saw her, anything. … There will never be another coach like Pat Summitt.”