After legendary women’s college basketball coach Pat Summitt passed away on Tuesday, tributes poured in on social media that honored the pioneer and winningest coach in NCAA Division 1 history.
— Lady Vol Basketball (@LadyVol_Hoops) June 28, 2016
Gutted. I love you. Thank you.
— Kara Lawson (@karalawson20) June 28, 2016
Pat Summitt's legacy isn't in the record books, it's in her players. pic.twitter.com/aTKnT7sJ2r
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) June 28, 2016
Having watched my own Dad suffer through Alzheimer's just want to say my thoughts and prayers are w/ Pat Summitt and her family. God Bless.
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) June 28, 2016
She made an immeasurable contribution to our game, may she rest in peace.
Thank you, Pat Summitt. pic.twitter.com/TzGKxSBm4S
— Indiana Fever (@IndianaFever) June 28, 2016
Thank you Pat Summitt for everything you did for the game of basketball. Our thoughts are with her family & friends. pic.twitter.com/74cd8gbMHh
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 28, 2016
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) June 28, 2016
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) June 28, 2016
Thank you Pat for teaching me to be fearless with grace and humility. Thank you for being a mentor to so many.
— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) June 28, 2016
Coach @patsummitt was an all time great w/ a brilliant mind, a love of basketball and a deep loyalty to all around her. She will be missed.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) June 28, 2016
Pat Summit was one of the world's great basketball coaches. Condolences to her family and Tennessee basketball.
— Jim Boeheim (@therealboeheim) June 28, 2016
Thoughts & prayers to the families of Pat Summitt & Buddy Ryan. Legendary coaches and true champions whose legacies will last!
— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) June 28, 2016
Sad to hear about Pat Summitt. A trailblazer for women's sports and simply one of the greats in coaching.
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) June 28, 2016
#RIP Pat Summit & Buddy Ryan, architects of their prospective sports. They epitomized hard work & tenacity. I pray Peace over their families
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) June 28, 2016
Legendary College Basketball Coach Pat Summitt Dies- RIP big Boss… You were amazing:) https://t.co/dDM05AXOep
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) June 28, 2016
RIP Pat Summitt. A legend and personal hero of mine for many many years. #sadday
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) June 28, 2016
#RIPPatSummitt your star shined way 2 briefly, but was bright & touched us all! We are all better because you cared. Love Always my friend-
— Ann Meyers Drysdale (@AnnMeyers) June 28, 2016
Praying for the families of Pat Summitt & Buddy Ryan!
Two of the Best Coaches of All Time.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) June 28, 2016
HOFer Pat Summitt, a true ambassador for our sport, has also passed away. She championed women everywhere & created opportunities for them.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 28, 2016
Would there be a WNBA without her influence? Rest in peace, Pat. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 28, 2016
President Barack Obama and Peyton Manning also honored the late Summitt.
Obama’s statement read:
Nobody walked off a college basketball court victorious more times than Tennessee’s Pat Summitt. For four decades, she outworked her rivals, made winning an attitude, loved her players like family, and became a role model to millions of Americans, including our two daughters. Her unparalleled success includes never recording a losing season in 38 years of coaching, but also, and more importantly, a 100 percent graduation rate among her players who completed their athletic eligibility. Her legacy, however, is measured much more by the generations of young women and men who admired Pat’s intense competitiveness and character, and as a result found in themselves the confidence to practice hard, play harder, and live with courage on and off the court. As Pat once said in recalling her achievements, “What I see are not the numbers. I see their faces.”
Pat learned early on that everyone should be treated the same. When she would play basketball against her older brothers in the family barn, they didn’t treat her any differently and certainly didn’t go easy on her. Later, her Hall of Fame career would tell the story of the historic progress toward equality in American athletics that she helped advance. Pat started playing college hoops before Title IX and started coaching before the NCAA recognized women’s basketball as a sport. When she took the helm at Tennessee as a 22-year-old, she had to wash her players’ uniforms; by the time Pat stepped down as the Lady Vols’ head coach, her teams wore eight championship rings and had cut down nets in sold-out stadiums.
Pat was a patriot who earned Olympic medals for America as a player and a coach, and I was honored to award her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was a proud Tennessean who, when she went into labor while on a recruiting visit, demanded the pilot return to Knoxville so her son could be born in her home state. And she was an inspiring fighter. Even after Alzheimer’s started to soften her memory, and she began a public and brave fight against that terrible disease, Pat had the grace and perspective to remind us that “God doesn’t take things away to be cruel. … He takes things away to lighten us. He takes things away so we can fly.
Michelle and I send our condolences to Pat Summitt’s family – which includes her former players and fans on Rocky Top and across America.
Manning said in his statement:
I’ve always been honored to call Pat Summitt my friend. She was always very supportive of my career and I enjoyed seeing her back at a Tennessee football game or when she would come to Indianapolis to see Tamika Catchings play. We would always get together and I made it a point when I came to Knoxville to visit with her.
“She was one of the people I consulted with following my junior year when I was deciding whether to turn pro early or stay in college. She gave me some very valuable advice during that time. My teammates and I went to a lot of Lady Vols games when we were in school and I really enjoyed watching her teams play.
“I just always appreciated Pat’s friendship and support. I was always impressed with how all of her former players spoke about her. You speak to people like Tamika Catchings or Chamique Holdsclaw and they just talk about the role that Pat played in all their lives on and off the court. You can just tell the impact that she had on those players.
“It would have been a great experience to play for her. She could have coached any team, any sport, men’s or women’s. It wouldn’t have mattered because Pat could flat out coach. I will miss her dearly and I am honored to call her my friend. My thoughts and prayers are with Tyler and their entire family.