Pat Head Summitt (born Patricia Sue Head on June 14, 1952 in Clarksville, Tennessee) is the head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team.
Early life and family
Patricia Sue Head was born in Clarksville, Tennessee. When Pat was high-school age, her family moved to nearby Henrietta, so she could play basketball in Cheatham County since Clarksville did not have girls teams yet. From there she went to University of Tennessee-Martin, where she won All-American honors. She would later co-captain the first United States women's national basketball team as a player at the inaugural tournament at the 1976 Summer Olympics, winning the silver medal.
During the 1980-81 season, the Lady Vols went 25-6, and avenged their championship game loss to Old Dominion by defeating them three times. The team made it to the AIAW Final Four for the third straight year, but finished runner-up for the second consecutive year, losing to Louisiana Tech, 79-59.
Despite winning neither the SEC regular season championship nor the tournament championship, Tennessee was given a 1 seed in the 1991 NCAA tournament. After a close win in the regional semifinals against Western Kentucky, Tennessee dispatched Auburn for the second time in three years. In the national semifinals, the Lady Vols beat Stanford, 68-60, to earn the opportunity to avenge last year's tournament loss against Virginia. Just as the previous year's game had gone into overtime, so did this one. Down one at the half, the Lady Vols tied the game at sixty by the end of regulation. Tennessee escaped in overtime with a 70-67 win and their third national title in five years. However, the next year the Lady Vols did not even make it to the regional championship, falling to the same Western Kentucky team they had beaten in the same round the previous year, 75-70. The 1992-93 season was better, as Tennessee defeated the defending champions Stanford twice and swept the SEC season for the first time ever. However, the Lady Vols were unable to grab the SEC tournament title and fell in the NCAA tournament to Iowa, a 72-56 loss in the regional finals.
In the 2000-01 season, the Lady Vols claimed another SEC title, winning all 14 SEC games. Additionally, they split the season series with the UConn Huskies and headed into the SEC tournament with a 28-1 record. However, the Lady Vols were upset by Vanderbilt in the semifinals and then lost in the Sweet Sixteen to Xavier, their worst finish since 1993-94. Despite this, Pat Summitt earned her 750th win, in the second game against UConn, a 92-88 victory. Additionally, the team finished with their fourth straight thirty-win season.
Pat Summitt has 14 Southeastern Conference regular season titles with the Lady Vols, as well as 13 tournament titles. Summitt's Lady Vols have made an appearance in every NCAA Tournament, as well as every Sweet 16, and have appeared 18 times in the Final Four. She was also named the Naismith Coach of the Century. When she made her 13th trip to the Final Four as a coach in 2002, she surpassed John Wooden as the NCAA coach with the most trips to the Final Four. Summitt is a 7-time SEC Coach of the year and a 7-time NCAA Coach of the year and has won eight national titles, including three in a row from 1996 to 1998. Summitt is known for scheduling tough opponents for her team to play in the regular season, in order to prepare them for March. In her years of coaching, her teams have played top ten ranked teams over 250 times.