Pat Summitt – American Basketball Coach

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Pat Summitt Richard Burt Patricia Head Summitt was born on June 14, 1952 in Henrietta, Tennessee, the daughter of Richard and Hazel Albright Head. She was the fourth of five children and the first girl. Known back home as ‘Tricia’ had a father, who truly believed in discipline, she didn’t mind being tough because its what she learned from her dad, but she also had a loving side, which she learned from her mother. Growing up with three older brothers she always was competing with her three older brothers, most of the time it was playing basketball. She grew up on a family farm that required a tremendous amount of hard work.

During her childhood she went to school, attended the Methodist church, and worked the fields. Coach Summitt graduated from Cheatham County High School in Ashland City, Tennessee. In 1974, she received her B. S. in physical education from University of Tennessee-Martin, where she led the Lady Pacers to a 64-29 record over four years. She was the co-captain of the 1976 U. S. Olympic women’s basketball team where she won a silver medal. As an international coach she brought home the first USA women’s basketball gold medal in Olympic competition in 1984.

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During her career as the head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers, Pat Summitt coached Tennessee to eight NCAA National Championships, and posted an extraordinary career record of 1098-208, where her winning percentage was an astounding 84%, and she has won 112 of the 135 NCAA tournament games in which her teams have competed. She has led the Lady Vols to 31 consecutive NCAA tournaments, which was every one of the tournaments since the women had a tournament. She also produced NCAA championships in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2007, and 2008.

She holds an NCAA tournament record for most wins, standing alone among her peers as the best women’s basketball coach in America, and maybe the world. If you ask me she is the next version of John Wooden, only she is a woman. On January 14, 2003, she became the first woman to reach the 800 wins . On March 22, 2005, she became No. 1 on the Division I all-time wins list, surpassing Dean Smith’s record of 879 wins. After 38 seasons at the University of Tennessee, she is as a proven winner, champion, master motivator and role model.

Her 1997-1998 team is considered one of the best collegiate women’s basketball squads of all time going 39-0 and dominating their opponents by an average of more than 30 points per contest. Summitt is the author of two very successful books, Reach for the Summit and Raise the Roof. She is also a commentator and wonderful motivational speaker. On April 18, 2012, after an extraordinary 38-year career, Pat Summitt stepped down as head coach of the Tennessee women’s basketball team to become a coach emeritus with the program.

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Pat Summitt – American Basketball Coach. (2016, Sep 17). Retrieved from

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