March 5, 2014
ATLANTA -- Russell Athletic and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced that the commemorative award presented to the Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year will be named The Pat Summitt Trophy in honor of the legendary University of Tennessee Lady Vols head coach.
The award will officially be named "The Pat Summitt Trophy presented to the Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year." It will be the only national coach of the year award to bear Summitt's name.
"The WBCA is honored that Pat Summitt has graciously lent us the use of her name to recognize the Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year on all levels - high school through NCAA Division I," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Pat was in the room in Syracuse back in 1981 when the WBCA was formed. She has been one of our biggest supporters ever since. And it is appropriate that the first time the Pat Summitt Trophy will be presented is in her home state of Tennessee."
Pat Summitt, who stepped down as head coach of the Lady Vols in April 2012, is the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history (men's or women's across any division) with 1,098 career victories. She led the Lady Vols to eight NCAA Division I national championships. In 38 years as a coach, all at UT, she never had a losing season.
Summitt was the recipient of the WBCA's first NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year Award in 1983. She received the honor twice more - in 1995 and in 1998. In 2009, The Sporting News named Summitt the 11th greatest coach of all time regardless of sport; she was the only woman on the publication's list of 50. Summitt was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in April 2000.
Russell Athletic and the WBCA present the national coach of the year award annually in each of the six WBCA membership divisions (NCAA Divisions I, II, III; NAIA: junior/community college and high school). This is the 32nd year of the honor. For a list of past recipients, visit WBCA.org.
The Pat Summitt Trophy will be presented to the 2014 Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 7, in the Omni Nashville Hotel's Broadway Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four.