Warlick now in charge Summitt reaches end of legendary career
Posted: Friday, April 20, 2012 12:00 pm
The University of Tennessee announced Wednesday that head women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, the all-time wins leader among NCAA basketball coaches, has been named head coach emeritus following 38 seasons (1974-2012) and 1,098 victories at Tennessee.
Associate head coach Holly Warlick, an assistant on the Tennessee staff for 27 seasons and a three-time All-American as a player for the Lady Vols, has been named Summitt’s successor and will assume head coaching duties for the Tennessee women’s basketball program.
“I’ve loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role,” said Summitt. “I support Holly Warlick being named the next head coach, and I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward. I would like to emphasize that I fully intend to continue working as head coach emeritus, mentoring and teaching life skills to our players, and I will continue my active role as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer’s through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund.
“If anyone asks, you can find me observing practice or in my office.”
Summitt finishes her 38-season career at Tennessee with a 1,098-208 record. The Lady Vols won an unparalleled eight national championships under her leadership (1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2007 and 2008) and played in 13 national championship games. Tennessee also won the SEC championship and SEC Tournament title 16 times each, and Summitt was named SEC Coach of the Year eight times and NCAA Coach of the Year in seven seasons. Her sixth national championship team, the 1997-98 team, finished a perfect 39-0.
Including the years as a member of the AIAW and four Final Four trips between 1977-81, Tennessee played in a combined 22 Final Fours overall during Summitt’s tenure.
The program has appeared in 25 NCAA Regional finals, posting an 18-7 record, and the Lady Vols are 48-1 all-time in NCAA First and Second Round games.
“It is extremely difficult to adequately express what Pat Summitt has meant to the University of Tennessee, the sport of basketball, and the growth of women’s athletics nationally,” said Hart. “She is an icon who does not view herself in that light, and her legacy is well-defined and everlasting. Just like there will never be another John Wooden, there will never be another Pat Summitt. I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role. She is an inspiration to everyone.
“I watched Holly grow tremendously as a coach throughout this past season. Under unique circumstances, the job she did away from the glare of the lights and crowds was as impressive as the job she did during game action. Her mentor will be available for insight and advice, but this is Holly’s team now.”
Warlick, who recently completed her 27th season as an assistant coach for Tennessee and her 31st overall with the program as a player or coach, is the first head coach of the Lady Vols other than Summitt since 1974, when Margaret Hutson completed a four-year tenure as the leader of the program (1971-74). Named associate head coach before the 2003-04 season, Warlick has been on the Tennessee coaching staff for all eight NCAA titles, and as a player or assistant, she has a role in 949 of Summitt’s 1,098 victories at Tennessee.
“I’m very thankful for all Pat Summitt has done to prepare me for this opportunity,” said Warlick. “She is my coach, mentor, and great friend, and I am honored with the opportunity to continue and add to the great tradition of this program. I’d like to thank Dave Hart, Chancellor Cheek, and the University for having confidence in me to lead the Lady Vol program, and we will work as hard as we possibly can with the goal of hanging more banners in Thompson-Boling Arena.”
Warlick originally joined the Tennessee athletics program as a scholarship 400-meter track athlete and a walk-on to the basketball team. A three-time All-American as a point guard at Tennessee, Warlick led Tennessee to three AIAW Final Fours as a player (1977, 1979, 1980) and held numerous school records upon the completion of her playing career in 1980, including most assists in a season and a game, most steals in a game, and most games in career.
Warlick was inducted the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, and in October 2002, she was a member of the second induction class of the University of Tennessee Lady Vol Hall of Fame.
She also served two seasons each as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech (1981-83) and Nebraska (1983-85).
A 1974 graduate of UT Martin with a degree in physical education, Summitt earned her master’s degree in physical education from UT Knoxville in 1975. Published in The WCP 4.19.12