Top Tennessean selection becomes latest award
Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012 7:00 pm
Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame president Dr. Bill Emendorfer announced Wednesday that University of Tennessee women’s basketball head coach emeritus Pat Summitt has been chosen to receive the Tennessean of the Year Award.
Summitt will be honored at the annual Tennessean of the Year Luncheon on May 19 at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville. Tickets are $40 and available by calling Lynn Toy at (615) 202-3996.
Summitt will also be honored at the 2012 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on the night of May 19.
“Pat Summitt is a shining example of why we are proud to be Tennesseans. It took great courage for her to step forward and share her medical diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, with the world last August,” Emendorfer said. “It took even greater courage for Pat to continue to coach and put a very real face on this invisible disease. No one has made a greater contribution to the state of Tennessee than Pat through her leadership and personal sacrifice for the betterment of society as a whole. She has dedicated herself to a cause that has greater value than her personal accomplishments.”
Summitt stepped down as the Lady Vols’ head coach on Wednesday.
This marks the second time that Summitt, a 2003 TSHF Inductee, has been selected as the Tennessean of the Year and the first time it has been awarded to the same person twice. Summitt first received the honor in 1988 which best exemplifies the volunteer sprit of the state of Tennessee.
Summitt has just completed her 38th year at the helm of the Lady Vols and sports a remarkable 1,098-208 overall record. During this past (2011-12) season, she helped lead her team to a 27-9 overall record, an SEC Tournament championship and a trip to her record 31st NCAA Tournament, where the Lady Vols played Summitt’s alma mater, UT Martin, and then advanced to the Elite Eight.
Summitt played at UT Martin from 1970-74. She scored 1,405 career points and is still in the top five in career scoring.
Summitt’s life, playing and coaching career and commitment to excellence will also be celebrated at the Tennessean of the Year luncheon.
The tribute is part of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Induction weekend which starts May 18 with a private tailgate at the Vanderbilt-Ole Miss baseball game and concludes with the banquet at the Renaissance Hotel May 19. Published in The Messenger 4.19.12