Pat Summitt, the legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach who led the Lady Vols to eight NCAA championships and more than 1,000 wins, died Tuesday at age 64, her son, Tyler, confirmed in a statement.
?It is with tremendous sadness that I announce the passing of my mother, Patricia Sue Head Summitt,” the statement read. “She died peacefully this morning at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most.
“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. 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.”
Summitt became the winningest NCAA Division I basketball coach of all time in 2005, and finished her career with a 1,098?208 record, good for an unbelievable .841 winning percentage. She was voted the NCAA Coach of the Year seven times and inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.
Summitt was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2011 and stepped down as Tennessee’s head coach in April 2012. She had held the job since 1974.
“She’ll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-I 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,” Tyler Summitt said in his statement. “We will all miss her immensely.”
Summitt said a private funeral will be held but that fans will be able to celebrate his mother’s life at a public ceremony at Tennesee’s Thompson-Boling Arena on a date to be announced.
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