Henrietta is the home of Patricia “Pat” Head Summit, legendary coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball team. She remains the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball among men and women, named head coach of the Lady Vols at the age of 22. She has brought the team 16 SEC Championships, 15 SEC Tournament Championships, and eight NCAA National Championships to date in her coaching career. She has been named the “SEC Coach of the Year” eight times and the “NCAA Coach of the Year” seven times, among many other awards. Few have come even close to accomplishing what she has for herself, her team, and the sport. She is an intense, demanding, dedicated coach and mentor who credits her success to her players.
She was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in April 2000. In 2009, the Sporting News placed her number 11 on its list of the 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time in all sports; she was the only woman on the list. In 38 years as a coach, she never had a losing season. On April 20, 2012, the White House announced that Pat Summitt would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Summitt received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPY Awards.
Summitt has written two books: Reach for the Summitt, which is part motivational book and part biography, and Raise the Roof, about the Lady Vols' 1997–1998 undefeated and NCAA-championship winning season.
In August 2011, Summitt announced she has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Since that time, she has become a champion for Alzheimer’s awareness, and was named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportswoman of the Year” and received the Maggie Dixon Courage Award. The college sports community and fans across the U.S. have rallied around Summitt. Fans, rivals and players support her Pat Summitt Foundation, wearing signature purple “We Back Pat” shirts to promote Alzheimer’s research and awareness.
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