Legendary University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt died at the age of 64 on Tuesday. The sad announcement was made by the Pat Summitt Foundation.
Her son, Tyler Summitt, released a statement:
“She died peacefully this morning at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most. She’ll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many – she was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure.”
The iconic coach’s obituary on the Pat Summitt Foundation said the following:
“’You win in life with people.’ This is one simple statement that Patricia Sue Head Summitt embodied, lived by and passed on to so many throughout her 64 years of life. She ‘won’ every day of her life because of the relationships she developed, nurtured and cherished. Relationships with her family and friends. Relationships with players, coaches, and fans. And most importantly, a strong relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
On Tuesday, June 28 2016, Pat passed away peacefully, following a courageous battle with early onset dementia, “Alzheimer’s Type.” This disease attacked a lifetime of precious memories, memories that she has now won back as she rests in her eternal home. Memories that will live on in each and every relationship she developed throughout her life.
Pat is survived by her mother, Hazel Albright Head; son, Ross “Tyler” Summitt; sister, Linda; brothers, Tommy, Charles and Kenneth.
The Pat Summitt Foundation website gave details on her funeral:
“A private service and burial for family and friends will be held in Middle Tennessee. A public service to celebrate her life will take place at Thompson-Boling Arena, on the campus of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Details for the celebration of life will be shared at a later date.”
Summitt announced in 2011 that she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease after having memory issues. One year later Pat stepped down as Tennessee’s coach.
Over 38 season as the Lady Vols coach, Summit led Tennessee to eight national championships and finished with 1,098 career victories, more than any other Division I basketball coach. Summitt was awarded the NCAA Coach of the Year seven times. She also won a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics playing for the U.S.A. basketball team.
Summitt was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000. President Barack Obama awarded Summitt the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 and received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPY Awards.
Summit was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, on June 14, 1952. She grew up on a dairy farm in Henrietta, Tennesse where she tended to tobacco plants and milked cows.
Over the weekend, the news came out that Summit was moved to a hospice. Here is the Summit family’s statement they issued on Sunday:
On behalf of Pat Summitt’s family, we acknowledge the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ progresses. She is surrounded by those who mean the most to her and during this time, we ask for prayers for Pat and her family and friends, as well as your utmost respect and privacy. Thank you.
The Pat Summitt Foundation announced a partnership with The University of Tennessee Medical Center to launch the establishment of The Pat Summitt Alzheimer’s Clinic on their Knoxville campus which will more than double available care and services to patients and caregivers and advance research through clinical trials.
You were an all-time great, rest in peace Pat Summit.