Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waterworks Wednesday: Pat Summit Steps Down

Waterworks Wednesday doesn't always have to be a story filled with defeat or failure. It can be a story filled with feelings of sadness for the bitter-sweet question of "what could have been?"
Announcing last year that she had been diagnosed with early on-set of dementia- Alzheimers's, Pat Summit was set to test the waters of her diagnosis and coach the Lady Vols for a 38th season. Today, Summit announced that the 38th season at Tennessee would be her last as the head coach for the school's women's basketball team. 
The sadness in this story is not entirely for Summit's health struggles, rather it is for the young women who will no longer be able to look to Summit on a daily basis for guidance and leadership. Coaching college students is more than teaching them the Xs and Os of a playbook, and Summitt exemplified this greatly. With every one of her players graduating who reached eligibility, it was what Summit gave her players after the Ws and Ls that is the most valuable.
Through the gloominess that this news has bestowed upon college basketball, the up side of this story is that a well- equipped Holly Warlick, an assistant to Summit for 27 years, will be stepping into the Head Coach position, and Summitt will remain a part of the program she built as the Head Coach Emeritus. 

"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," said Summitt. "I support Holly Warlick being named the next head coach, and I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward. I would like to emphasize that I fully intend to continue working as head coach emeritus, mentoring and teaching life skills to our players, and I will continue my active role as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer's through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund.
"If anyone asks, you can find me observing practice or in my office. Coaching is the great passion of my life, and the job to me has always been an opportunity to work with our student-athletes and help them discover what they want. I will continue to make them my passion. I love our players and my fellow coaches, and that's not going to change."

Summit won 1,098 games in her career, more than any coach ever in college basketball, man or woman. 

1 comment:

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