Pat Summitt, 64
When she was 38 and deep into a pregnancy, Pat Summitt insisted on making a recruiting trip to Pennsylvania. The timing was off for the Tennessee basketball coach.
Her water broke while she was making her recruiting pitch. A frantic ride to the airport followed. The plane was prepared to stop in Virginia. But Summitt, who bleeds Volunteer orange, wouldn’t hear of it. Her child would be born in Tennessee. And so he was.
Her stare could crack steel. Her authority was unchallenged. She coached 38 years at Tennessee and became the first NCAA coach to reach 1,000 wins. Her showdowns with UConn counterpart Geno Auriemma became the sport’s signature rivalry.
She moved women’s basketball into big-time arenas. Her coaching — and her life — was cut short by early onset dementia. But when the conversation turns to the game’s greatest coaches — man or woman — Summitt’s name is part of it.
Pat Summitt coached 38 years at Tennessee. Mark