Pat Summitt with Sidney Spencer
Jan. 8, 2007
The Big Orange Tipoff Club is proud to announce its next scheduled meeting this coming Tuesday, January 9, at 11 a.m., at Calhoun's on the River in Downtown Knoxville, where a buffet luncheon will be served for only $12.50, including a variety of entrees and side dishes, drink, dessert, etc. Tennessee Lady Vol Basketball Head Coach Pat Summitt, the winningest basketball coach of all-time, will be the featured speaker, and will be introduced by UT Women's Athletics Director Joan Cronan. Pat will be speaking following the big win at UConn and just before another big road trip to Florida on Thursday in Gainesville.
Due to the overwhelming demand for parking at Calhoun's, please plan to arrive as early as possible for this meeting. Calhoun's will open the buffet line at 11 a.m. to accommodate what is expected to be another overflow standing-room-only crowd to hear Pat, as this meeting will be held just after the Tennessee men's home SEC opening game victory against Mississippi State, and just prior to the men's first road trip to Vanderbilt in Nashville on Wednesday night. UT Men's Head Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl is also expected to be in attendance to say a few words about his team's upcoming road trips to Vandy and also to the big Ohio State game in Columbus that will be nationally televised by CBS on Saturday, January 13.
The fact that UT's men's basketball team is drawing capacity crowds and is ranked in the Top 25 in the polls and in the Top 15 in the RPI, and that the Lady Vols will have just played the UConn game and be ranked highly nationally, too, will drive attendance upward for this meeting. UT Men's Athletics Director Mike Hamilton is also expected to be on hand.
THIS WEEK'S SPEAKER: Pat Summitt is incredibly in her 33rd year at the helm of the Lady Volunteers basketball program. She has won six National Championships, more than any hoops coach in history other than the legendary John Wooden. In commemoration of her becoming the winningest basketball coach of all-time, the court at UT's Thompson-Boling Arena was named "The Summitt" in her honor. Amazingly, she has won 84% of her games as a head coach.
Her list of accomplishments is practically endless. In addition to her national championships, she has won 25 SEC Championships, and coached 12 Olympians and 18 All-Americans. She was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame the first time she was eligible and was named Naismith National Coach of the Century in 2000. Her Tennessee program has been molded into a dynasty. She is truly a living legend.
As a player, Pat won Olympic Silver. As a coach, she won Olympic Gold for the USA for the first time ever in women's basketball in 1984 in Los Angeles . Success and accomplishment have become her legacy. She is perhaps The University of Tennessee's greatest ambassador, in demand as a speaker, consultant, author, and motivator.
The Tipoff Club will also be hosting the Knox County boys and girls high school basketball players of the week, as they do weekly, who will be awarded certificates by prep sports writer Jesse Smithey of The Knoxville News-Sentinel and will be honored along with their coaches.
One lucky member each week will win a pair of tickets to each of the next home UT men's and women's basketball games by participating in the club's weekly Pick'N'Win Contest for only $1 and picking the winners of a selection of men's and women's SEC games. Other door prizes donated by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame will also be given to guests and prospective club members. The club will have several surprise celebrity guests on hand regularly, including former players, coaches, and other nationally-known basketball personalities.
CLUB MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION ATTACHED: The club is still soliciting individual members at only $75 and discounted senior citizen memberships at only $60. Spouses of members are free, making this an excellent deal. In addition, corporate memberships, which include up to 5 members of a firm, are still being offered at only $250.
Annual membership applications are still available by calling Club President Lloyd Richardson at (865) 588-5433, by faxing a request to (865) 588-2083, by e-mailing at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the website at www.utfan.com/tipoff. A membership application for downloading with the Big Orange Tipoff Club logo on it is also attached to this press release.
All former UT men's and women's basketball lettermen, former UT Orange Tie Club members, Knoxville Quarterback Club members, VASF donors, Boost-Her Club members, UT students, UT alumni and friends, as well as the general public, are invited to attend and join as well. Legendary former UT Head Basketball Coach Ray Mears is an Honorary Member. Many members of the UT athletics administration, coaches, etc., are in attendance regularly.
All media are invited to attend and will have the opportunity to record and film any portion of the meeting, ask questions of Coach Summitt in a public forum at the conclusion of her remarks, and will be able to interview her, as time allows, on both a group and individual basis. Each of our meetings so far has been covered extensively by print and broadcast media, including TV stations and several newspapers. Local talk show hosts are planning live remote radio broadcasts for some meetings.
All media are also invited to contact the Tipoff Club at email@example.com to schedule radio, television, and newspaper interviews with various Big Orange Tipoff Club steering committee members, including Charles W. Morgan, Barry J. Smith, Michael J. Turner, Christy Gentry, and Club Historian R. Larry Smith regarding the club, its promotion of UT basketball, its purposes, its sponsoring of awards and contributions to scholarships, and its charitable endeavors in supporting college and amateur athletics in East Tennessee. Steering committee members have been making radio and television appearances and doing newspaper interviews regularly, and are available for speaking engagements to any groups.
The Big Orange Tipoff Club is offering special merchandise for sale with the distinctive club logo on it, including T-shirts and caps, each for the low price of only $10. Only a limited number of each is available, and they are quickly becoming collectors' items.
NEXT WEEK'S AND FUTURE SPEAKERS: Next week's Big Orange Tipoff Club meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 16, with UT alumnus and former track star Bill Schmidt, former Gatorade president and current president of Pegasus Marketing, as the featured speaker.
Other speakers to follow in our stellar 2007 lineup are former Georgia head basketball coach Hugh Durham on January 23, former UT Lady Vol star and current ESPN commentator Kara Lawson on January 30, Brad Nessler, ESPN broadcaster who will be in Knoxville covering the UT-LSU men's game nationally on February 6, Tom Boerwinkle, former UT Vols and Chicago Bulls star on February 13, the day of the UT-Kentucky men's game in Knoxville, former Alabama head basketball coach Wimp Sanderson on February 20, and UT alumnus and ESPN commentator Woody Paige on February 27. All 8 meetings this season are on Tuesdays, so please mark your calendars to plan to be there for all of them.