Remembering Pat Summitt: A UT Martin Pioneer - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Remembering Pat Summitt: A UT Martin Pioneer

Pat Summitt played at UT Martin from 1970-1974. (Source: UT Martin) Pat Summitt played at UT Martin from 1970-1974. (Source: UT Martin)
(Source: UT Martin) (Source: UT Martin)
(Source: UT Martin) (Source: UT Martin)
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MARTIN, TN (KFVS) -

Legendary coach Pat Summitt passed away this morning in Knoxville.

Summitt was a native of Ashland City, Tenn. and attended the University of Tennessee Martin from 1970-1974.

“It is truly a sad day for UT Martin and for the women’s basketball community,” said Skyhawk interim athletics director Kevin McMillan, who has also served as the school’s head women’s basketball coach since 2009. “Through the years, I developed a friendship with Coach Summitt that I valued very much. She always knew what was going on at UT Martin and she loved her alma mater. Her impact here – and on women’s basketball – is immeasurable.”

She celebrated her 64th birthday this month. Summitt was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2011.

According to UT Martin, Summitt left the school as the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,405 points.

Just months after earning her degree at UT Martin, she took over as the head women's basketball coach at the University of Tennessee. She went on to become one of the best coaches in the history of the game.

Summitt was the co-captain of the USA National team in 1976 and earned a silver medal in the Olympics.

She took over as head coach of the team for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and guided the team to its first-ever gold medal in women's basketball.

Summitt and her son, Tyler, formed the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund in November 2011, three months after she announced her diagnosis of early onset dementia.

“Pat Summitt’s legacy as one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time is assured,” UT Martin interim chancellor Dr. Robert M. Smith said. “More importantly for her friends at UT Martin is how she pioneered the path for female student-athletes and assured them opportunities they enjoy today in sports and in life. There will be those who might imitate but none will emulate what she accomplished. We honor the memory of our friend, UT Martin graduate and women’s basketball legend.”

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