born 1952

There may be only a couple hundred miles between her childhood farm in middle Tennessee and Rocky Top {the top of the world to UT fans}, but, for Pat Summitt, it was the trip of a lifetime. A star athlete who entered college two years before Title IX, she left basketball in 2012 with the most wins of any NCAA coach ever ~ a record of 1098, to only 208 losses. She's even more proud of her students' 100% graduation rate.

Following a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's, Pat resigned from the head coach position she'd held for 38 years. The woman who'd always helped others found herself needing help. She now leads the way as an advocate for Alzheimer's research + awareness, the co-founder of the Pat Summitt Foundation and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Pat Summitt (20)

"Confidence is what happens when you’ve done the hard work that entitles you to succeed."

Reach for the Summitt | 1998

"You can't always be the most talented person in the room. But you can be the most competitive."

Reach for the Summitt | 1998

"Discipline is the only sure way I know to convince people to believe in themselves."

Reach for the Summitt | january 1998

"Plan your work, and work your plan."

Reach for the Summit | 1998

"Think big, work small."

Reach for the Summit | 1998

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts the most."

Reach for the Summit | 1998

"It's harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb."

Reach for the Summit | 1998

"We do not win championships with girls. We win with competitors."

Raise the Roof | january 1999

"Sometimes it feels like I've spent my whole career as a head basketball coach trying to shuck labels . . . So the label I want to see attached to our team is this one: National Champions."

Raise the Roof | 1999

"I yell, because I'm a yeller. I'm a yeller, and so I yell."

Raise the Roof | 1999

"When I say I don't like that word 'girl,' I'm talking about a much finer distinction. I'm talking about someone who was taught not to keep score."

book | 1999

"Labels are as confining as a corset."

Raise the Roof | 1999

"The really coachable ones are those who correct their mistakes."

Raise the Roof | 1999

"I don't like that word, 'girl.' I don't mean female. I don't mean somebody who wears a skirt and does laundry . . . I'm talking about someone who was taught not to keep score."

Raise the Roof | 1999

"For a snapshot of the women's game in 1972 imagine a full-grown woman walking around with a piggy bank, panhandling for change."

Sum It Up | 2013

"Despite everything, those of use who played basketball in the deprived, formative era of the early 1970s wouldn't trade the experience. In all the years afterward it gave us pride of ownership, a sense that we were the architects of our own game."

Sum It Up | 2013

"Let's get a game plan."

Bench to Bedside | june 2013

"You win in life with people."

personal slogan | july 2013

"Dementia robs you of so many things. Don't let laughter be one of them!"

@patsummitt | march 2014

"You're never defeated unless you give up."

Walk to End Alzheimer's | april 2014
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curated with care by Meghan Miller Brawley {august 2014}