Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 at 2:50 pm  |  13 responses

Pat Summitt Steps Aside as Head Coach

Legendary Tennessee Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt will no longer be roaming the sidelines down in Knoxville. Summitt, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia last year, will still be involved with the team as “head coach emeritus.” Long time assistant coach and former Lady Vol Holly Warlick will be taking over head coach duties marking the end of Summitt’s unbelievably successful 38 years of coaching.

From USA Today:

Summitt, 59, who had 1,098 games and an NCAA record eight national championships, will remain head coach emeritus. Long-time assistant Holly Warlick, who led the team this season after Summitt revealed her medical condition in August, will be the new head coach.

“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,” Summitt said in a statement.

“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.”

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  • Fresh Boirdee

    That’s tough… I know because she coached women’s basketball she won’t get the respect she deserves, but Pat Summitt is one of the best coaches of any sport of my lifetime.

  • Zack

    ^^ very true. Great coach, even better person.

  • dsleepy

    hall of fame.

  • 23

    She coached 38 years and is only 59 years old? 21 year old head coach?

  • dsleepy

    i don’t watch women’s basketball all that often, and even i now how much she has contributed to the game we love.

  • 2307

    An inspiration to all coaches of all sports and a truly selfless and amazing person.. much love

  • Respect

    @Fresh Are you kidding me, she’s the one female coach that everyone knows and everyone respects. Shes a first ballot hofer no doubt.

    It’s so sad her career has to be shortened by dementia. Physical ailments are one thing, nothings sadder then seeing someone slowly lose their mind.

  • http://www.nba.com Red

    This is why I love Slam, ya’ll recognize basketball in it’s entirety(people who comment on SLAM). SLAM itself though just makes obscure headlines usually lol. But yeah HOFer no doubt.

  • What

    Good, that guy was weird.

  • Marvin

    4 the people who said that shes a no doubt HOFer, she was inducted 12 years ago. but Pat is an AMAZING coach. not just speaking on the wins & championships, but her players loved playing 4 her. majority of them stayed 3 or all 4 years & graduated. i dont watch the WNBA, so i hope some1 can correct me (not rudely) if im wrong, but i think her players hav done very well coming out of that program. only women i can think of r Candice Parker & Brittany Jackson, & i wonder how they feel about this news. its sad that dementia just had 2 get in the way late in her coaching career, & even though shes the ALL TIME winningest coach in D1 history, i’d love 2 c her coach & win at least 2 more games 2 get her at an even 1100 wins. best of luck 2 her though, with watever she does the rest of her life

  • dev0

    ^ Marvin gets it. Keep fighting, Pat.

  • QBreeze

    much respect to Pat Summitt. One of the greatest coaches of our time. She has universal respect from both female and male athletes.

  • Fresh Boirdee

    @Respect… You preaching to the choir. I just know a lot of people who look down at women’s sports as a whole, even the local sports radio stations make jokes about it. When people have conversations about great coaches your hear about the Wooden’s and Lombardi’s, but very seldom is Pat Summitt’s name brought up. It’s really a shame.