basketball-women-d1 flag

Steve Megargee | Associated Press | June 26, 2016

Women's basketball: Past few days 'difficult' for former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pat Summitt's family said Sunday that the last few days have been difficult for the former Tennessee women's basketball coach as her Alzheimer's disease progresses.

Amid reports of Summitt's failing health, her family issued a statement asking for prayers and saying that the 64-year-old Summitt is surrounded by the people who mean the most to her. It also asked for privacy.

The statement was posted on the Pat Summitt Foundation's website and was issued by Erin Freeman, a spokeswoman for the Summitt family.

Former Tennessee player Tamika Catchings was flying to Knoxville to visit the coach instead of returning to Indiana with the WNBA's Fever. Other former players and those in the University of Tennessee and the women's basketball communities were issuing support on Twitter through the "PrayForPat" hashtag.

Summitt stepped down as Tennessee's coach in 2012, one year after announcing her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. She went 1,098-208 with eight national titles. She has the most career wins of any Division I men's or women's basketball coach.

Since her diagnosis, Summitt has played a leading role in the fight against Alzheimer's. She launched the Pat Summitt Foundation, which is dedicated to researching and educating people about the disease while also providing services to patients and caregivers. The Pat Summitt Alzheimer's Clinic is scheduled to open at the University of Tennessee medical center in December.

"When she fights this disease, what she has taught all of us is how to do it with courage," former Tennessee women's athletic director Joan Cronan said at a 2015 charity event honoring Summitt. "She's done that from Day One. It's been about (how) we can find a cure for this disease, and she has done it facing it straight-on and she's done it giving back as she always has."

Summitt continues to hold a position as head coach emeritus of the Tennessee women's basketball team. She attended nearly every home game and many practices in the first year after stepped down as coach, though she had a less visible role in subsequent seasons. She cut back on public appearances in recent years.

 

March Madness bracketology: The ultimate guide

We take a deep dive into bracketology: What it is, what you need to know about the bracket itself, and updating predictions for the entire NCAA tournament field from NCAA.com basketball expert Andy Katz.
READ MORE

7 schools with the most women's basketball national championships

UConn has more DI women's college basketball titles than any other program. Here's a look at the seven women’s basketball teams that have won two or more national championships.
READ MORE

2019 SEC football schedule: Game times, TV channels for every week

The 2019 SEC football season started Saturday, Aug. 24 and goes through the SEC Championship Game on December 7. Get the full schedule, including TV channels, here.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners