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Pat Summitt Named Head Coach Emeritus, Will Step Away from Tennessee Sidelines

Pat Summitt after winning her eighth NCAA title in 2008.
Pat Summitt after winning her eighth NCAA title in 2008.Doug Benc/Getty Images
Zachary D. RymerMLB Lead WriterApril 18, 2012

Legendary Tennessee Volunteers women's basketball head coach Pat Summitt is stepping down.

According to a report from Dan Fleser of GoVolsXtra.com, Summitt will become coach emeritus of the Lady Volunteers basketball program. Assistant coach Holly Warlick will assume head coach duties in her stead.

The transition was finalized on Wednesday. Summitt does not yet know the exact details of what her new duties will be.

Summitt's decision to step down as the head coach of the Lady Vols comes several months after she announced in August of 2011 that she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. At the time of the announcement, she said she planned to continue coaching anyway, though she let Warlick take on many of her responsibilities.

The Lady Vols went 24-8 this past season, making it to the Elite Eight in the women's NCAA tournament.

Holly Warlick and Pat Summitt in 2008.
Holly Warlick and Pat Summitt in 2008.Doug Benc/Getty Images

In 38 seasons at Tennessee, Summitt compiled a record of 1,095-207, and she led the Lady Vols to eight NCAA championships. The most recent of those was won in 2008, when the Lady Vols finished the season with 36 wins.

Summitt says the decision to step down after 38 years was entirely hers, and that she has no regrets about it:

"I feel really good about my decision. I think this is going to be a win-win situation for everybody. Holly and I will work really well together."

Summitt expects Warlick's own transition to be seamless. She is becoming head coach of the Lady Vols after 27 seasons as an assistant.

"She deserves to be the head coach," said Summitt of Warlick. "I’m going to support her. No doubt, I’ll be there for her."

The 59-year-old Summitt will continue to attend practices, and she will also be able to communicate with recruits.


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