The University of Tennessee announced today that head women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, the all-time wins leader among NCAA basketball coaches, has been named head coach emeritus following 38 seasons (1974-2012) and 1,098 victories at Tennessee. Summitt will report to Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart and will serve in a variety of endeavors. In that capacity, she will continue to serve the women’s basketball program and its coaching staff and as a liaison to the Director of Athletics, remain involved in on-campus recruiting, and serve as a personal mentor to players, including life skills coaching.
Associate head coach Holly Warlick, an assistant on the Tennessee staff for 27 seasons and a three-time All-American as a player for the Lady Vols, has been named Summitt’s successor and will assume head coaching duties for the Tennessee women’s basketball program.
“I’ve loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role,” said Summitt. “I support Holly Warlick being named the next head coach, and I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward. I would like to emphasize that I fully intend to continue working as head coach emeritus, mentoring and teaching life skills to our players, and I will continue my active role as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer’s through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund.
“If anyone asks, you can find me observing practice or in my office. Coaching is the great passion of my life, and the job to me has always been an opportunity to work with our student-athletes and help them discover what they want. I will continue to make them my passion. I love our players and my fellow coaches, and that’s not going to change.”
The all-time wins leader among college basketball coaches, Summitt finishes her 38-season career at Tennessee with a 1,098-208 record and an .841 winning pct. The Lady Vols won an unparalleled eight national championships under her leadership (1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2007, and 2008) and played in 13 national championship games. Tennessee also won the SEC Championship and SEC Tournament title 16 times each, and Summitt was named SEC Coach of the Year eight times and NCAA Coach of the Year in seven seasons. Her sixth national championship team, the 1997-98 team, finished a perfect 39-0.
Additionally, the Tennessee women’s basketball team has reached the NCAA Final Four 18 times, tied with the UCLA and North Carolina men for the most all-time by a college basketball program. Summitt’s 18 trips to the Final Four is the most all-time among coaches, and her eight national titles trails only the 10 won by former UCLA coach John Wooden in Division I college basketball. Including the years as a member of the AIAW and four Final Four trips between 1977-81, Tennessee played in a combined 22 Final Fours overall during Summitt’s tenure. The program has appeared in 25 NCAA Regional finals, posting an 18-7 record, and the Lady Vols are 48-1 all-time in NCAA First and Second Round games.
“It is extremely difficult to adequately express what Pat Summitt has meant to the University of Tennessee, the sport of basketball, and the growth of women’s athletics nationally,” said Hart. “She is an icon who does not view herself in that light, and her legacy is well-defined and everlasting. Just like there will never be another John Wooden, there will never be another Pat Summitt. I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role. She is an inspiration to everyone.
“Holly Warlick has earned the opportunity to be the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee and to lead the Lady Vol program she has embraced as a player and a coach. I watched Holly grow tremendously as a coach throughout this past season. Under unique circumstances, the job she did away from the glare of the lights and crowds was as impressive as the job she did during game action. At this time in our historic program, which Pat Summitt built from scratch, Holly Warlick, the former player and longtime assistant coach, is deserving of the head coaching position. Her mentor will be available for insight and advice, but this is Holly’s team now.”
Warlick, who recently completed her 27th season as an assistant coach for Tennessee and her 31st overall with the program as a player or coach, is the first head coach of the Lady Vols other than Summitt since 1974, when Margaret Hutson completed a four-year tenure as the leader of the program (1971-74). Named associate head coach before the 2003-04 season, Warlick has been on the Tennessee coaching staff for all eight NCAA titles, and as a player or assistant, she has a role in 949 of Summitt’s 1,098 victories at Tennessee.
“I’m very thankful for all Pat Summitt has done to prepare me for this opportunity,” said Warlick. “She is my coach, mentor, and great friend, and I am honored with the opportunity to continue and add to the great tradition of this program. I’d like to thank Dave Hart, Chancellor Cheek, and the University for having confidence in me to lead the Lady Vol program, and we will work as hard as we possibly can with the goal of hanging more banners in Thompson-Boling Arena.”
Warlick originally joined the Tennessee athletics program as a scholarship 400-meter track athlete and a walk-on to the basketball team. A three-time All-American as a point guard at Tennessee, Warlick led Tennessee to three AIAW Final Fours as a player (1977, 1979, 1980) and held numerous school records upon the completion of her playing career in 1980, including most assists in a season and a game, most steals in a game, and most games in career. Warlick was the first Tennessee athlete, male or female, to have her jersey retired at the end of her career in 1980.
Warlick was inducted the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, and in October 2002, she was a member of the second induction class of the University of Tennessee Lady Vol Hall of Fame. She also served two seasons each as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech (1981-83) and Nebraska (1983-85).
Under Summitt’s leadership, Tennessee is the only school to appear in all 32 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournaments since its inception in 1982, Tennessee has posted more NCAA Tournament victories (112) and has played in more tournament games (135) than any other college basketball program. The Lady Vols have earned a No. 1 seed in the tournament 21 times, including nine consecutive from 1988-96.
Additionally, the Tennessee program has produced 12 Olympians, 21 State Farm All-Americans named to 36 different teams, including 2012 All-American Glory Johnson. Lady Vol players have also received All-SEC accolades on 120 occasions.
Summitt was the head coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Basketball team that captured the gold medal in Los Angeles. On Oct. 13, 2000, she was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility and was inducted along with former NBA greats Isiah Thomas and Bob McAdoo, high school coach Morgan Wootten and contributors C.M. Newton and Danny Biasone.
Summitt added to a remarkable career of accomplishments and accolades during the 2011-12 season, when she was named Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year, an honor she shared with SI Sportsman of the Year Mike Krzyzewski, the Duke men’s basketball head coach who has won more games all-time than any other coach in men’s college basketball. The NCAA also named Summitt this year’s recipient of the 2012 NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award, which is named after the 38th President of the United States and annually honors an individual who has provided significant leadership as an advocate for intercollegiate athletics over the course of their career.
A 1974 graduate of UT Martin with a degree in physical education, Summitt earned her master’s degree in physical education from UT Knoxville in 1975. Her son, Tyler, was a member of the men’s basketball team who graduates with a degree in communications studies from UT Knoxville this May.
Courtesy UT Media Relations