LEXINGTON, Ky. – Pat Summitt, who for 38 seasons led the Tennessee women’s basketball program and changed the face of college athletics in the process, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 64.
Kentucky women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell started his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Summitt at Tennessee.
“We are saddened by the news of Coach Summitt’s passing,” Mitchell said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Summitt family and the Lady Vol family. She impacted millions of people in such positive ways. Pat gave me the incredible privilege to work for her and she taught me so much. I will be eternally grateful for that opportunity. All of us who learned from her should now make certain we pass along the lessons she taught. She will be greatly missed but her positive impact on the game of basketball and on the people she led will last forever.”
UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart also worked with Summitt at Tennessee as an administrator from 1986-1998 and joined Mitchell in offering his condolences.
“Summarizing Pat Summitt’s impact is impossible because she embodied all of the virtues you can imagine as a coach and a leader, from class to toughness to passion,” Barnhart said. “Working with her at Tennessee was truly an honor, as was competing against her. She was an incredible icon in not only the game of women’s basketball, but in sports in general. She was a trailblazer who helped pave the way for what women’s sports are today and we are eternally grateful to her. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Summitt family and the Tennessee Athletics family. Pat will be missed.”