Pat Summitt, the Hall of Fame Tennessee Women’s basketball coach who headed the Lady Volunteers for 38 years, died Tuesday morning. She was 64.

Legendary Tennessee Women’s Basketball Coach Pat Summitt Dies At 64

Summitt guided the Lady Vols to eight national titles and 1,098 victories– the most in Division I college basketball history (men or women)– during her tenure at Tennesee before stepping down at age 59 in 2012, one year after announcing she had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

Her son Tyler Summitt, released a statement Tuesday morning saying his mother died peacefully at the Sherrill Hills retirement facility in Knoxville, Tennessee surrounded by her 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.”


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Tyler added a private funeral and burial will be held in Middle Tennessee and asked that the family’s privacy be respected. A Celebration of Life Service honoring Summitt will be open to the public at 7 p.m. July 14 at Thompson-Boling Arena on the University of Tennessee campus.

Summitt, who was named the NCAA coach of the year seven times, led the Lady Vols to 22 Final Fours (18 NCAA, four AIAW) in her nearly four decades as coach.

“Pat Summitt is synonymous with Tennessee, but she truly is a global icon who transcended sports and spent her entire life making a difference in other peoples’ lives,” Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart said in a statement. “She was a genuine, humble leader who focused on helping people achieve more than they thought they were capable of accomplishing. Pat was so much more than a Hall of Fame coach; she was a mother, mentor, leader, friend, humanitarian and inspiration to so many. Her legacy will live on through the countless people she touched throughout her career.”

Three of her eight national championships came in consecutive years, from 1996 to 1998. Her teams won 16 Southeastern Conference tournament titles and made an unprecedented 31 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.

Summitt was a talented enough player at the University of Tennessee-Martin to later earn a co-captain’s spot on the 1976 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team, which earned a silver medal. She later coached the U.S. Olympic team to gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

“I miss her, and it’s a very sad day,” former Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning, who played at the school from 1994 to 1997, said on SportsCenter. “When you hear her former players talk about her and the impact she had on them as players and people, it speaks volumes.

“She loved everything about Tennessee. Everyone in the state was proud to have her as an ambassador. She had a huge impact on everyone she met. I always felt better every time I was around her.”

At her retirement, Summitt’s eight national titles ranked behind the 10 won by former UCLA men’s coach John Wooden. UConn Huskies coach Geno Auriemma passsed Summitt after she retired.

She attended college at the University of Tennessee­-Martin, where she starred on the basketball court that now bears her name. She helped lead the team to a 64­-29 record at UT­ Martin, along with two appearances in the national championship tournament. She graduated as the school’s all-­time leading scorer (1,045 points).

She accepted a graduate assistant’s job at Tennessee in 1974, at a salary of $250 per month, with the promise she could pursue a master’s degree and rehabilitate a knee injury in advance of the Montreal Olympics.

When the women’s coach abruptly took a sabbatical to work on a doctorate degree, Summit was named coach just shy of her 22nd birthday.

Summitt remained at the school with the title “head coach emeritus.”

“I’m still going to yell at them,” she said of her players. “I love these young people and hopefully they’ll keep me young.”

She was most proud that, under her watch, every player graduated who completed their eligibility.

NEW YORK – OCTOBER 13: Basketball coach Pat Summitt speaks onstage during the 30th Annual Salute To Women In Sports Awards at The Waldorf=Astoria on October 13, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for the Women�s Sports Foundation)

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