Today we mourn Pat Summitt, a legend and our friend. Pat passed away overnight surrounded by loved ones.
Even as we grieve we also celebrate what Pat meant and will forever mean to our sport. Perhaps an article in the May 2012 issue of our own Coaching Women’s Basketball magazine, published shortly after Pat announced her retirement, said it best: “Pat Summitt built the game of women’s basketball that we enjoy and have the privilege of working in today.”
Pat made the game famous; she made it relevant. She set the standard by which all women’s basketball coaches today are judged. Most importantly, she leaves a legacy of more than 40 former players who have become coaches themselves, ensuring her spirit and philosophy will influence our game for decades to come.
The funeral service and burial will be private. A public service to celebrate Pat’s life will be held at Thompson-Boling Arena on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville at a future date to be determined. In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions be made to The Pat Summitt Foundation.
As we pray that Pat’s family and those who knew her best are comforted during this difficult time, let us also offer a prayer of thanks for Pat herself, that she found her calling to coach women’s basketball and changed the game she loved for the better.
Danielle M. Donehew