KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history who helped boost the women’s game to the big time in a 38-year career at Tennessee, is dead at 64.
With an icy glare on the sidelines, Summitt led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and prominence on a campus steeped in the traditions of the football-rich south until she retired in 2012.
Her son, Tyler Summitt, issued a statement Tuesday morning saying his mother died peacefully at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most.
Tyler’s statement says, “Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type’ … and we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease. ”
Pat’s pastor Dr. Chris Stephens says there was a line of players who came to say their goodbyes and offer support to Summitt Sunday, but Tyler stopped visitors Monday.
“Pat has gone down pretty rapidly. Tyler has been unbelievable in taking care of his mother with the best help and the best folks that could possibly be. He’s doing very well,” says Stephens, who adds he will oversee her funeral because that’s what Summitt wanted.