Pat Summit Lauded with Presidential Medal of Freedom – Pat Summit received a much deserved retirement present from the President himself; the highest civilian award handed out by the government, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach will be awarded for her ultimate dedication, hard work and courage throughout the years of coaching.
Just before meeting with the media on Thursday to discuss her retirement from coaching the Tennessee girls, Pat Summit got the news. President Barack Obama himself announced the award. Pat Summit was overwhelmed by the surprise and honour she received, and told the media that this is a tremendous honour and she didn’t see it coming.
Pat Summit had announced her retirement eight months after she announced that she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. The legendary coach has some great achievements up her sleeve – she has won more games than any other collegiate coach in any sport.
Her career coaching the University of Tennessee girls spanned at a staggering 38 years. Back in that time Summit had agreed to coach for a pay of only $250 a month. Her career and journey is examplary and splendid, and it is no surprise that Pat Summit is receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
President Obama was full of praise for the former women’s basketball coach, he said that Coach Pat Summit is an inspiration – not only because of her remarkable winning streak in the basketball court, but also because of her brave open battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He added that Pat has a gift of pushing people towards success, her unmatched approach has resulted in both unparalleled success on the court and unrivaled loyalty from those who have learned great lessons from her.
Pat Summit will be succeeded by Associate head coach Holly Warlick who has been an assistant on the team’s staff for the past 27 seasons. Pat passed on her title to Warlick on Thursday’s new conference.
Athletic Director Dave Hart said that there can never be another Pat Summit nobody has accomplished what Pat has managed in her 38 inspiring years.