This week is a celebration of the start of the 2018-19 college basketball season. But let it also be a time to remember those no longer with us, who used to have such a huge impact at this time of year. Legendary Tennessee Women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, one of the greatest of all-time, passed away in June 2016 due to a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. With November being Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, let’s celebrate and remember her amazing career
One of my favorite lines about Pat Summitt was when Bruce Pearl was at Tennessee as the men’s basketball coach (now at Auburn). Pearl gave an interview about Summit on ESPN and said how they are both such good coaches, having combined for 8 national championships. Of course, he was heaping praise on her as Summit, alone has won 8 championships, with the most recent ones coming back-to-back and 2007 and 2008. They haven’t been back to the Final Four since that time.
- 8 National Titles (2008, 2007, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1991, 1989, 1987)
- 5 other NCAA Championship appearances, as runner up
- 31 total NCAA tournament appearances
- Won both the SEC regular season and tournament championship 16 times each
- Countless coach of the year awards – Naismith COY 5 times, SEC COY 8 times, AP award, John Wooden Award, and an always valuable ESPY
- Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee in 2000
- Olympics Medalist – coached team USA to gold medal in the 1984 games and won a silver medal in 1976 as a player
In 38 seasons as Tennessee head coach from 1974-2012, Summitt compiled an overall record of 1,098-208 and a 306-44 SEC record
The only team comparable to Tennessee during Summitt’s time was Connecticut. They played every year from 1995-2007 and Uconn holds a 13-9 advantage. That record includes that UConn is 4-0 against Tennessee is National Championships (1995, 2000, 2003, 2004).
Pat Summitt will always be remembered for being one of the most influential voices in college basketball and one of the greatest coaches of all time. She has put her stamped on the game forever and will always be missed.
Is 2018-19 Tennessee one of the teams that can compete with UConn? Full Press Coverage highlights the top non-UConn women’s teams for this upcoming season.