Remembering The Legendary Pat Summitt
Pat Summitt was a trailblazer in women’s basketball. She set the standard and raised the bar for other players and coaches to follow. Her incredible passion for the game was evident in everything she did. Pat touched the lives of so many people and USA Basketball is grateful for all that she contributed as a player and coach during her long and illustrious career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family. She is an icon who has left us all much too soon.
In 2012 USA Basketball and the NCAA honored Olympic coaches (L-R) Geno Auriemma, Theresa Grentz, Anne Donovan, Van Chancellor, Nell Fortner, Billie Moore and Pat Summitt during the NCAA Final Four (Photo: William Ewart)As an athlete Summit, neé Head, won a silver (5-3) as a member of the 1973 USA World University Games Team, gold (7-0) on the 1975 USA Pan American Games Team, finished in 8th place (4-3) on the 1975 USA World Championship Team, won gold (5-0) at the 1976 Olympic Qualifying Tournament and silver (3-2) at the 1976 Olympic Games for a 24-8 record as an athlete.
As a coach, she was an assistant for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, which did not compete at the games, but won gold at the 1980 Olympic Qualifying Tournament with a 5-1 record. She was the head coach for the 1977 USA Junior Pan American Games Team that captured gold (5-0), gold-medal winning 1979 USA R. William Jones Cup Team (6-0), earned silver at the helm of the 1979 USA Pan American Games Team (5-1), gold with the 1979 USA World Championship Team (5-1), silver as head of the 1983 USA World Championship Team (6-2) and gold wtih the 1984 USA R. William Jones Cup Team (8-0). Summitt capped her storied career with USA Basketball as the head coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team that finished with a 6-0 record in Los Angeles in leading the USA to its first of an eventual record seven Olympic women's basketball gold medals.
Additionally, Summitt was the first U.S. Olympic basketball medalist to return to the Olympics as an assistant coach and a head coach. Since she accomplished that feat, it has been replicated twice, by Larry Brown (1964, gold, athlete; 1980, DNC, assistant coach; 2000, gold, assistant coach; 2004, bronze, head coach) and Anne Donovan (1980, DNC, athlete; 1984 and 1988, gold, athlete; 2004, gold, assistant coach; 2008, gold, head coach).