Pat Summitt (born Patricia Sue Head on June 14, 1952 in Clarksville, Tennessee) is arguably the most successful Division I college basketball coach, men's or women's, of all time. She is the coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols. She currently finished her 32nd year of coaching, all with the Lady Vols. Her career coaching record with the Lady Vols is 913-177.
As a player at the University of Tennessee-Martin, Summitt was an All American and co-captain of the 1976 Olympic basketball team.
Currently she has written two books (with the help of Sally Jenkins), Going For the Summitt (a motivation book) and Raise the Roof (about the undefeated season when they won the NCAA championship back in 1998).
In 2003, Summitt joined a handful of coaches that have claimed 800 or more career victories in NCAA basketball. She became the fastest coach to reach that milestone.
On March 22, 2005, Summitt became the all-time leader for games won among NCAA Division I basketball coaches, men's as well as women's, when her number-one seed Lady Vols defeated ninth-seed Purdue in the second round of the 2005 NCAA women's basketball tournament. It was her 880th win as a coach, breaking North Carolina men's coach Dean Smith's former record of 879.
On January 19, 2006, she won her 900th game, an 80-68 win over Vanderbilt University.
In May 2006, she became the first coach of women's college basketball to earn $1 million per year.
Pat Summitt has six national championships, which is the most among all women's coaches (former UCLA men's coach John Wooden won 10 national championships). She also has 13 Southeastern Conference regular season titles with the Lady Vols, as well as 12 tournament titles. Summitt's Lady Vols have made an appearance in every NCAA Tournament, as well as every Sweet 16, and have appeared 16 times in the Final Four. She was also named the Naismith Coach of the Century. When she made her 13th trip to the Final Four as a coach in 2002, she surpassed John Wooden as the NCAA coach with the most trips to the Final Four. Summitt is a 7-time SEC Coach of the year and a 7-time NCAA Coach of the year and has won six national titles, including three in a row from 1996 to 1998. Summitt is known for scheduling tough opponents for her team to play in the regular season, in order to prepare them for March. In her years of coaching, her teams have played top ten ranked teams over 250 times.
In the 1997-1998 tournament, her team went undefeated the entire season, winning all 30 regular and 9 tournament games, earning Summitt's fifth championship. Some sportswriters considered that year's team the greatest team ever in college women's basketball. This was the third consecutive championship for the Lady Vols, and the third for heralded players Chamique Holdsclaw and Kellie Jolly (now Harper). Holdsclaw was named a consensus All-American, as was freshman Tamika Catchings.
The UConn Huskies are the only other team to repeat the feat (from 2002-2004), a streak which also included a 39-0 undefeated season in 2002. The Huskies' championships in both 2003 and 2004 came at Tenneesee's expense in the championship game.
Summitt and the 1996-1997 championship team were the subject of an HBO documentary titled "A Cinderella Season: The Lady Vols Fight Back". That year, the Lady Vols posted just a 23-10 record heading into the NCAA tournament, with two losses to Louisiana Tech, setbacks against national powers Georgia, Stanford and UConn, but also shocking losses to SEC lesser lights Arkansas, Auburn, and LSU (which was 7-20 just two seasons prior and had not yet established itself as a perennial national power). However, Tennessee righted itself during the tournament, shocking previously undefeated UConn in the regional final, 91-81, before defeating Notre Dame and Old Dominion in the Final Four in Cincinnati.
Summitt took her team to the championship game again in 2004, this time losing 70-61 to the UConn Huskies. The rivalry with UConn is one of the most heated in college sports.
Awards and Titles:
* 14-time SEC Champions (1980, 1985, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007)
* 12-time SEC Tournament Champions (1980, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006)
* 7-time SEC Coach of the Year (1983, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2007)
* 7-time NCAA Coach of the Year (1983, 1987, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2004)
* 6-time NCAA Champions (1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998)
In 1999, Summitt was inducted with the inaugural class to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2000, she joined Isiah Thomas as inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Summitt is the only person to have two courts used by NCAA Division I basketball teams named in her honor: "Pat Head Summitt Court" at the University of Tennessee-Martin, and "The Summitt" at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
She also has a street named after her, "Pat Head Summitt Street," on the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus.