Pat Summitt, Legendary Basketball Coach, Dies at 64

Tennessee's Summitt had more Division I wins than any coach in NCAA history
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2016 6:03 AM CDT
In this Jan. 28, 2013, file photo, former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt smiles as a banner is raised in her honor before the team's NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame in...   (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

(Newser) – Pat Summitt, whose work ethic (and famous intense stare) was born on her family's farm and propelled her to rack up more wins than any other basketball coach (men's or women's) in NCAA Division I history, died Tuesday at age 64, the AP reports. "It is with tremendous sadness that I announce the passing of my mother, Patricia Sue Head Summitt," her son, 25-year-old Tyler Summitt, announced on the Pat Summitt Foundation website. "She died peacefully [Tuesday morning] at Sherrill [Hills] Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most." Summitt had to retire at age 59 due to early-onset Alzheimer's, the Washington Post reports, and Tyler Summitt notes that his mom fought the disease with "bravely fierce determination, just as she did with every opponent she ever faced."

Pat Summitt was barely in her 20s when she started coaching the Tennessee Lady Vols, and over nearly four decades, she built up an astounding record. Under her direction, the Lady Vols took home eight national championships (only UCLA's John Wooden coached his team to more championship wins), per ESPN, and made it to the Final Four 22 times (18 times as an NCAA team), ABC News notes. She ended her coaching career with 1,098 wins under her belt when she retired in 2012, and she also coached the US women's basketball team to its first gold medal at the 1984 Olympics, NPR notes. "I grew up on a dairy farm," she told NPR in 2009. "Cows … don't take a day off. … [My father] demanded a lot from the five children, but in a good way. I don't think I would have this work ethic or this drive, or probably the stare." (Read more obituary stories.)

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