Famed Basketball Coach|Pat Summitt Dies at 64

     (CN) — Legendary women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt died Tuesday morning after a battle with early onset dementia, her family said.
     Summitt, 64, died at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville, the city where she coached the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers for 38 years.
     She won eight NCAA championships as head coach of the Lady Vols from 1974 to 2012. Her 1,098 total career wins is the most in NCAA men’s or women’s basketball history.
     Reactions to Summitt’s death began pouring in Tuesday morning.
     Former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who played college football at UT-Knoxville, said he always made a point to see Summitt when he came back to Knoxville.
     “I just always appreciated Pat’s friendship and support. I was always impressed with how all of her former players spoke about her. You speak to people like Tamika Catchings or Chamique Holdsclaw, and they just talk about the role that Pat played in all their lives on and off the court,” Manning said. “You can just tell the impact that she had on those players.”
     UT Athletic Director Dave Hart said Summitt’s “legacy will live on through the countless people she touched throughout her career.”
     “Pat Summitt is synonymous with Tennessee, but she truly is a global icon who transcended sports and spent her entire life making a difference in other peoples’ lives,” Hart said. “She was a genuine, humble leader who focused on helping people achieve more than they thought they were capable of accomplishing.”
     Holly Warlick, who replaced Summitt as head coach of the Lady Vols, tweeted Tuesday morning, “My heart is broken. Pat & I shared a very special, special BOND that will NEVER be broken! I love u Pat!”
     U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said “there is perhaps no one who left a more indelible mark on his or her profession than Coach Summitt.”
     “Basketball has lost a legend, and Tennessee has lost one of its most beloved daughters,” Corker said.
     Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam tweeted a video statement on Summitt’s passing early Tuesday, adding, “We have lost one of the greatest Tennesseans of all time.”
     In addition to her storied college coaching career, Summitt also won an Olympic gold medal as head coach of the 1984 U.S. women’s basketball team.
     In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Summitt the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
     Obama said in a statement Tuesday that Summitt’s legacy is measured by “by the generations of young women and men who admired Pat’s intense competitiveness and character.”
     “Nobody walked off a college basketball court victorious more times than Tennessee’s Pat Summitt. For four decades, she outworked her rivals, made winning an attitude, loved her players like family, and became a role model to millions of Americans, including our two daughters,” Obama said. “Her unparalleled success includes never recording a losing season in 38 years of coaching, but also, and more importantly, a 100 percent graduation rate among her players who completed their athletic eligibility.”

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