Pat Sum­mitt, 64

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

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

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