She's one of the lightning rods of women's sports with a tough coaching style and lots of national championships. But no matter what side of the fence you're on, your heart has to feel for Pat Summit. The legendary Tennessee Lady Vols coach announced this week that she suffers from the early onset of dementia and said it was Alzheimer's disease. Her video announcement is after the jump.
Few basketball coaches are as decorated as Summit. Eight national championships spanning 22 years. Seven NCAA coach of the year awards. Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. Olympic gold medal coach. She's the only head basketball coach, men's or women's, to reach 1,000 NCAA career coaching wins. She has never had a losing season. And it's probable that she will go hours or days at some point in her life when she won't remember any of it.
My great-grandmother had Alzheimer's. If you haven't experienced a loved one with the disease, it's incredibly tough. Most of the time my great-grandmother thought she was a little girl back in France and thought I was someone else. That is what her family and friends are in for.
While some will criticize the decision, I'm glad Summit is opting to remain the head coach of the Lady Vols. She's earned it.