A few weeks ago, legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt retired.
Do you know LEGENDARY coach Pat Summitt?
SHE led the Tennessee Lady Volunteers to eight national championships, second only to UCLA's coach John Wooden, and she won a total of 1,071 career games, the most of ANY NCAA basketball coach ever, REGARDLESS OF GENDER. Oh, by the way, she's in the Hall of Fame. Not just the Women's Hall of Fame, but right there with the boys' Hall of Famers too.
Doug Benc/Getty Images
So, she's pretty awesome.
She retired at age 59 because of early onset dementia.
I admit, I didn't pay much attention to women's college basketball, but I did hear her name a number of times growing up and in my adult life.
She is always going to be remembered for her basketball coaching ability. Many people, myself included, don't know another, very important side of the coach.
Yahoo Sports' Eric Adelson wrote:
"Every player who has completed her eligibility either has earned a degree or is on schedule to earn a degree. Think about that."
Not only did Coach Summitt win championships year after year, she recognized that her girls didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of playing after college, and pushed them to use all 4 years and graduate.
I don't say that they had a snowball's chance because they suck, I say it because the marketing and support behind women's professional sports is non-existent. Because of that, Coach Summitt pushed her kids to earn their degrees and pushed their academics. This woman has a 100% graduation rate on her athletes. That is UNHEARD of.
I make a lot of sexist jokes, but I can recognize greatness. FFS, this woman is AWESOME. I wish my girls have teachers, mentors, and coaches as great as Coach Summitt.