Pat Summitt as stepped down as head coach of the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball team after 38 years. To call her a “giant” is insignificant. When she arrived at Tennesee women’s basketball was barely in the back water of the sports world. She has won more NCAA title’s (eight) than any woman, and more NCAA basketball games than any coach in history. But perhaps more significant is that 74 former players, coaches, team assistants, and student managers are now coaching from the NBA down to high school. Her legacy is greater than that of Bobby Knight and Mike Krzyzewski in this category. Summitt was diagnosed last year with early onset Alzheimer’s and coached one more season. Her strength, her courage, her focus were an inspiration to all.
Peyton Manning, perhaps the University of Tennessee’s most famous son, issued this statement:
“Through the dedication and selflessness Pat Summitt has shown at the University of Tennessee, she has made an immeasurable impact both on and off the basketball court during her Hall of Fame career. The strength and perseverance that have defined her as a coach, mentor and role model were never more visible than through the incredible courage she displayed this past season. Without question, Pat is one of the strongest people I know. It is no surprise that she has not backed down from a challenge.
“I have always had a great deal of respect and admiration for Pat, and I am truly honored to call her a friend. I look forward to watching her continue to inspire others in her new role at the University of Tennessee.”
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At 49 years, 151 days of age Jamie Moyer (once of the Phillies, now of the Colorado Rockies) became the oldest pitcher in modern history to win a baseball game. Way to go Jamie. Us old guys still have hope. I should have drafted you for my fantasy team.