Pat Summitt, Tennessee Basketball Coach, Honored With Plaza, Statue

Image: Pat Summitt, Tennessee Basketball Coach, Honored With Plaza, Statue

Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 11:47 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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The University of Tennessee will honor legendary former women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, dedicating a plaza and statue in her honor on Nov. 22.

Summitt won 1,089 games over her 38 years of coach before resigning in 2012 because of the early onset of dementia, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. 

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The bronze statue of Summitt was created by Houston sculptor David Adickes. The statue will be the centerpiece of Summitt plaza.

"The Pat Summitt Plaza will serve as a permanent testament to the career of college basketball’s greatest coach," a statement said on a website dedicated to the coach's plaza. "Welcoming visitors to campus at the intersection of Lake Loudon Boulevard and Phillip Fulmer Way, it will feature a bronze statue of Coach Summitt and celebrate the Lady Vols basketball program." 

Summitt's 1,098 wins leads all NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball coaches, Newsday reported. The second most winningest coach is Duke's Mike Krzyzewski has 947 wins, followed by Syracuse's Jim Boeheim with 910, and former Indiana coach Bob Knight who had 902 victories.

She won eight national championships at Tennessee with a winning percentage of .840 (1,098-208). Twenty-two of the teams she coached reached the Final Four, 18 in the NCAA and another four in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

Her teams claimed 32 Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles while graduating all 122 players who completed their eligibility at Tennessee, according to WBIR-TV. 

As a player, she co-captained the 1976 U.S. Olympic team, which earned a silver medal in the Montreal Games. Her team was the from the U.S. to compete in women's basketball at the games. Eight years later, when she was a coach in 1984, she led the women's Olympic basketball teams to a gold medal during the Los Angeles Games.

Summitt was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. in 2000, the first year she was eligible. She was the fourth women's basketball coach to earn Hall of Fame honors.

Summitt was also part of the inaugural Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in the 1999.

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