K.D.M-Pat Summitt.wmv





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Published on May 7, 2012

"She" is Pat Head Summitt, head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball team, who has just concluded her 38th season at the helm of the Lady Vols, has a 1,098-208 overall record, and raises the bar in the collegiate basketball world every time she steps out on the court.

On Aug. 22, 2011, Summitt might have raised the bar on courage as she bravely revealed the toughest opponent she will ever have to battle, early onset dementia, "Alzheimer's Type," after the doctors at the Mayo Clinic diagnosed her at the age of 59. To be sure, Summitt took on this invisible opponent with her signature game plan.

The Tennessee skipper didn't look at it as a bold move; rather continuing her lifelong practice of both herself and her program being an open book.

In the 2011-12 season, the most demanding on Summitt and her program, the Lady Vols finished the year with a 27-9 overall record and carried the banner as the 2012 SEC Tournament Champions.

UT finished the 2012 season losing to No. 1-ranked Baylor while battling for a spot in the NCAA Final Four. The Lady Vols were stopped just short of their goal to be cuting down nets in Denver, site of the 2012 Final Four.

All season long, all eyes were on Summitt and her team. They were greeted in arenas nationwide with standing ovation tributes to Summitt as she guided her team through the nation's toughest schedule and a sea of "We Back Back" t-shirts.

The "We Back Pat" campaign sprang up overnight and went viral in the social media world following Summitt's medical announcement. A t-shirt was born with the slogan, and proceeds started pouring into Summitt-picked organizations, Alzheimer's Tennessee and the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

In November 2011, Summitt announced the formation of her Foundation, the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund, with the proceeds going toward cutting-edge research.

In announcing her diagnosis, Pat was being just Pat, but a number of organizations hailed her courage to come forward.

The United States Sports Academy awarded Summitt its 2011 Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias Courage Award for her indomitable spirit in her public battle with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type...On October 4, it was announced that Summitt would receive the 2011 Maggie Dixon Courage Award... Also in October, The Huffington Post named Summitt a 2011 Game Changer - an innovator, leader and role model who is changing the way we look at the world and the way we live in it...The Tennessee Communication Association selected Summitt for its most prestigious award, Communicator of the Year.

The incomparable Summitt has built collegiate basketball's "hoopdom" at Tennessee. A program developed tirelessly, diligently and successfully by Summitt, her staff and the 161 student-athletes who have been fortunate enough to don the Orange & White jerseys of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers.

Summitt, already the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history (men or women), will enter the 2012-13 campaign just two victories shy from attaining 1,100 career wins.


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