June 17, 2011
by Debby Jennings, UT Assoc. AD for Media Relations
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Tennessee Economic Council on Women inducted University of Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt as the third member of its Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame in ceremonies this afternoon.
A sold-out gathering at the Airport Marriott in Nashville was on hand to honor the winningest coach in women's basketball. The award, which celebrates women whose lives reflect exceptional accomplishments and devotion to improving the economic status of women and girls in Tennessee, was the fifth such Hall of Fame for Summitt. She joins previous inductees Jane Eskind and Martha Craig "Cissy" Daughtrey.
"Although we are very proud of her record number of wins, it's her legacy of leadership that we're honoring. Her contribution to women and girls across the State of Tennessee go far beyond the basketball court and are more important than any record book could describe," said Dr. Carol Danehower, Chair of the Tennessee Economic Council on Women.
Summitt was included for induction into the Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame because she has made unparalleled contributions to the lives of women and girls throughout the State through her leadership and example.
The entertaining event featured a story-telling atmosphere as current UT associate head coach Holly Warlick kicked off the remarks talking about Summitt's defining leadership. Former Lady Vol and current N.C. State head coach Kellie Jolly Harper talked about the example Summitt set for her players and those who aspired to coach. Melanie Balcomb, head coach at SEC rival Vanderbilt, related her experiences of being a young upstart coach who fashioned a 1-0 record against Summitt and thought she should retire.
Summitt's Hall of Fame remarks
The light-hearted remarks gave way to UT interim Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics Joan Cronan talking about Summitt's impact on the game and her student-athletes from the beginnings of Title IX to the present, and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam speaking of Summitt's love of leadership.
After her induction, Summitt took the stage and thanked the throng for coming to the event and told the women of the audience that "strong women can make such a difference."