- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Summitt: It has been a ‘great ride’ at Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, TENN. (AP) - Pat Summitt was relaxed, smiling and even cracking jokes _ looking and sounding totally at peace knowing she will never coach her beloved Tennessee Lady Vols again.
The Hall of Fame coach who just eight months ago revealed she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, has turned the program over to longtime assistant Holly Warlick.
“It was really a great ride for me,” Summitt said Thursday, speaking on the Tennessee basketball court named after her before a crowd of about 200 fans, faculty and friends.
“I just felt like it was time for me to step down knowing that Holly was going to be in great hands,” Summitt said. “She’s a great coach and you know I’m going to continue to support her. You know It’s never a good time, but you have to find the time that you think is the right time and that is now.”
She will become Tennessee’s new “head coach emeritus” with the school paying her the $1 million bonus she had been due once she coached her 40th season.
There were season-long questions about Summitt’s health, but the mood at the press conference was upbeat. Summitt, who turns 60 in June, joked how coming to work every day in her new role and staying around students may help keep her young.
“I’m getting ready to turn the big one … yeah 30,” Summitt said, after which someone from the crowd chimed in. “Hardly!”
Summitt won more games than anyone else in NCAA college basketball during her 38 years at Tennessee.
And while the ride on the coaching carousel may be over for her, but there are more challenges and honors ahead.
President Barack Obama said Summitt is an “inspiration” as the coach who has won more games than anyone else in NCAA college basketball history and for her willingness to “speak so openly and courageously about her battle with Alzheimer’s.”
“Obviously, I didn’t see it coming, but that’s a tremendous honor,” Summitt said of the Medal of Freedom honor.
“I made a choice early in my career to challenge myself to step up my game each and every day,” Summitt said. “You can be sure I will take this same attitude into my new role as head coach emeritus and continue to teach our players the same commitment. I can promise you ladies I’m here for you. Trust me that that will happen.”
She capped her opening remarks by calling Warlick, her former player and assistant the past 27 years, over and handing over her whistle. Summitt said it was time, as she hugged Warlick with the crowd giving them a standing ovation.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Mike Shanahan says he'd like to return to Redskins
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow