Pat Summitt - Naismith Women's Collegiate Coach of the Century
For Pat Summitt, the start of the 21st century has provided the veteran coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers a number of lifetime achievements. Perhaps the biggest single honor came on April 8, 2000, when the Atlanta Tip-Off Club recognized her as the recipient of the Naismith Women’s Collegiate Coach of the Century. Summitt was honored along with legendary UCLA coach John Wooden who was chosen as the Naismith Male Collegiate Coach of the Century.
It was only fitting that the coaches of the century should also have guided the careers of the Collegiate Players of the Century. Former Lady Vol Olympian and All-American Chamique Holdsclaw (1995-99) ran away with the distaff honors as the Naismith Women’s Collegiate Player of the Century, while her male counterpart was UCLA’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Additionally, UT junior Tamika Catchings was honored as the winner of the 2000 Naismith Women’s Collegiate Player of the Year.
Coach Summitt's program was honored on Feb. 14, 2000, when The ESPY Awards proclaimed her Lady Vols, “The Co-Team of the Decade for the 1990s,” sharing the honor with the Florida State football program.
On January 14, 2003, Summitt captured her 800th career coaching win posting an 76-57 decision over the DePaul Blue Demons in Knoxville. She became the first women’s coach to post 800 victories and joined an exclusive coaching fraternity of 7 coaches in the 800 win column.