The Summitt by the Numbers
Two words in the English language are habitually overused: genius and legend. When speaking of Pat Summitt, the second word definitely applies, and will be used for many decades to come, likely as long as basketball is still played on this planet. The importance of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles to their various types of music cannot be overstated. Neither can the importance of Pat Summitt to not only women’s basketball, but Basketball.
The statement delivered today by Tennessee’s Athletic Director was not an overstatement.
She is an icon… and her legacy is well-defined and everlasting. Just like there will never be another John Wooden, there will never be another Pat Summitt.”
Her retirement announcement hit me pretty hard today. That surprised me because I knew that it would likely be soon to come considering the disease that she is battling. Nonetheless, it was hard to take. Kind of like a death in the family considering the circumstances of her decision.
So instead of prattling on, let’s let her numbers speak for themselves.
***Overall Record: 1,098-208 (38 seasons as head coach at Tennessee) Winning percentage: 84.1% Number of losing seasons: 0 Number of 20 win seasons: 35 Number of 30 win seasons: 20 NCAA Coach of the Year: 7 SEC Coach of the Year: 8 SEC Championships: 16 regular season; 16 conference tournament titles Number of Final Four appearances: 18 Number of National Championships: 8 (most by any women’s basketball coach; 3 were consecutive) Lowest seed in an NCAA Tournament: 5th seed Number 1 seed: 20 (of the 29 tournaments) Number of NCAA Tournaments missed: 0 (the tournament began in 1982) Number of Sweet 16’s missed: 1 Number of senior classes never to reach the Final Four: 1 (this year’s class) Number of Lady Vol players that completed their college-playing eligibility at Tennessee that did not graduate: 0 Former players, assistants, graduate assistants, team managers and directors of basketball operations are coaches somewhere: 74 Also… Summitt led the 1984 women’s team to a gold medal in Los Angeles. Inducted as part of the first class into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame. Named “Coach of the 20th Century” by the Naismith Foundation. Named to Sporting News’ list of the 50 greatest coaches of all time (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, college basketball, and college football). She is listed in position 11.