In case you have missed the news this morning, legendary Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt passed away overnight at the age of 64 after a 5 year battle with Alzheimer's disease. The news comes as a shock to the entire sporting world as Summitt had a profound impact not only as a great coach, but as a pioneer and advocate for the advancement of all women's sports in our country. On the court, Summitt paved the way by winning an astounding 1098 games and 8 national championships in her 38 years at Tennessee.
Baylor women's coach Kim Mulkey has a unique perspective as she has been around Summitt in one way or another ever since she arrived at Louisiana Tech as a player in 1980. Mulkey was the point guard on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team coached by Summitt that won the gold medal. They continued to compete against one another as Mulkey transitioned from player to assistant at Louisiana Tech. And of course, the Lady Vols and Lady Bears had some great battles in the NCAA Tournament since Mulkey arrived at Baylor as head coach in 2000.
Yet Mulkey considered Summitt not only be an icon of coaching and a role model for her profession, but also a close friend that she could lean on. She documented some of the memorable moments that she had with Summitt on an interview with SportsCenter on ESPN this morning. And it's worth noting that most of them had nothing at all to do with basketball.
The full 3.5 minute interview from this morning's SportsCenter can be found at this link:
"She's the equivalent of John Wooden in the women's game." - Kim Mulkey remembers Pat Summitt https://t.co/VxEtxLIY1B— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 28, 2016
Mulkey also posted this on her Instagram account:
Thank you.... Thank you for emptying everything you had into this game. Thank you for paving a way. Thank you for setting an example. Thank you for your dedication and passion. Thank you for your knowledge. Thank you for being the type of person and coach I've strived to emulate. You will be FOREVER remembered, admired, and celebrated!..... THANK YOU Coach!