American Women’s College Basketball Head Coach
June 14, 1952 – June 28, 2016
Pat Summit is the former coach of the Tennessee Volunteers Girls Basketball program. Summit led Tennessee to over 1,000 wins and 8 National Titles during her 38-year career on the bench for the Volunteers.
Born on June 14, 1952 as Patricia Sue Head, Pat grew up a devout Christian and attended a Baptist church in Knoxville, Tennessee. “For 64 years, my mother first built her life upon a strong relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” Summit’s son Tyler wrote in a statement upon his mother’s death just a few years ago. A member of Faith Promise Church in West Knoxville, Summit was a regular face throughout the church community – according to her pastor Chris Stephens, who spoke with a local NBC affiliate upon Summit’s passing. “People didn’t realize how important Pat’s faith was to her,” said Stephens. “In her physical battle (with dementia), faith was huge. She wanted prayer and would take all that she could get.”
Holly Warlick, who succeeded the late coach Summitt as Tennessee Girls Basketball coach in 2012, told the media after Summit’s passing that Pat – who Warlick served under for 20+ years – that the legendary coach’s ability to impact so many lives throughout her time was the “gift God gave her”.
“It just simply amazes me the impact Pat’s made in so many people’s lives and outside lives that Pat didn’t even know,” said Warlick. “But that’s the gift God gave her and she will be greatly missed.”
Although her faith didn’t stop her from passing prematurely, Summit’s legacy will live on for years to come, through her son, through her players, and through the Tennessee Girls Basketball program – which continues to thrive.
Pat Summit died in 2016 at the at the age of 64 from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.