I became a high school basketball coach in 1975. It was the year Title Nine was born, legislation ensuring that girls would have sports offerings equal to boys. My tenure as coach lasted 5 years, a mere drop in the bucket as compared to the 39 year career of the NCAA’s winning-est basketball coach of all time.
I’m referring, of course, to Pat Summitt, the Lady Vols’ (University of Tennessee) head coach. Summitt announced her transition from head coach to an emeritus status yesterday (April18) as the result of a diagnosis last year of early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.
Summitt’s career included 1,098 victories and eight national championships. It doesn’t matter how much of a basketball fan you are. Those numbers are pretty darned impressive.
Much more impressive are the courage and grace Summitt has exhibited in the face of her diagnosis. We are once again reminded that no one is exempt from life’s trials, but the way in which we handle them will serve to coach others in their challenges.
Thanks for your leadership, Coach Summitt. You are a winner!