Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt dies at 64
Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt has passed away at the age of 64 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, her family announced in a statement.
The news comes a few days after it was revealed that Summitt had been joined by family, friends and former players at the retirement home she had been living at since January.
During her 38-year career as the head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols, Summitt amassed 1,098 wins, the most ever for a college basketball coach.
Her son Tyler released a statement on Tuesday, saying his mother died peacefully surrounded by loved ones:
“Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ and she did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced,” Tyler Summitt said. “Even though it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease.
“She’ll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many—she was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure. We will all miss her immensely.”
The Lady Vols won eight national championships during Summitt’s tenure, the last in 2008, and claimed the SEC title 16 times.
Summitt also spent time as the coach of the U.S. Olympic team, coaching the squad to a silver medal at the 1976 Montreal games.
She retired in 2012 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.
A private burial service will be held in Middle Tennessee, but the family is also planning a public service to be held at Thompson-Boling Arena on Tennessee’s campus.