May 19, 2009
University of Tennessee Lady Vol Basketball Head Coach Pat Summitt was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from the United States Sports Academy on Tuesday, May 19, in Daphne, Ala.
Summitt, who has won more games than any coach in college basketball, accepted her award during a presentation ceremony on the Academy's campus.
The Lady Vols coach developed a passion for basketball as a young child and continued playing through college at the University of Tennessee-Martin. In 1973, Summitt made her first U.S. National Team, winning a silver medal at the World University Games in the Soviet Union. She played on the gold-medal-winning team in the 1975 Pan American Games and brought home the silver while serving as co-captain of the 1976 Olympic Team. The next year, Summitt won two gold medals with the U.S. World Junior Team and was awarded another gold medal as coach of the U.S. Olympic Team in 1984.
While a graduate student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Summitt was offered the position of the team's head coach at age 22.
Over the past 35 seasons as the Lady Volunteers Head Coach, Summitt has kept her elite program in the winner's circle, earning her 1,000th victory as a head coach during the 2008-2009 season. With 1,005 collegiate wins and 63 international wins, Coach Summitt has produced an unbelievable overall record of 1,068 wins.
Summitt, inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, has led the Lady Vols to eight National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles, as well as winning three straight titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998 becoming the first team ever to accomplish this in NCAA women's basketball championship history. The Lady Vols also have 27 Southeastern Conference (SEC) tournament and regular season championships, plus 28 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Coach Summitt has produced 12 Olympians, 19 Kodak All-Americans and 72 All-SEC performers. She has also turned out 43 professional players representing the American Basketball League (ABL), Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and various overseas teams.
Along with the success on the court, Summitt's student-athletes have achieved a 100 percent graduation rate for all Lady Vols who have completed their eligibility at Tennessee. She is also the author of two books, has both the University of Tennessee-Martin and the University of Tennessee basketball courts named for her, as well as having her high school gym bear her name.