Former Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt’s name carries a lot of weight in coaching circles across the country.
North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams made sure to take time during his trip to Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday to pay tribute to the coaching legend.
“This is a pretty doggone good place,” Williams said. “When I was a kid, I had strong feelings for Tennessee. It’s right across the mountains from Asheville [N.C.]. One of the things I wanted to do was walk over at halftime and pat the floor with Pat Summitt’s name. That was pretty cool. Pat was a good friend, and I even brought my daughter to camp here for Pat Summitt’s camp.”
Tennessee’s basketball court is called The Summitt after the Lady Vols former coach.
Summitt led Tennessee to 1,098 wins in her time with the Lady Vols. Tennessee won eight national championships under her watch. She was awarded seven national coach of the year awards in her 38 years working the sidelines. Summitt coached from 1974 to 2012.
Summitt’s impact went far deeper than just wins and losses on the court, though. She touched so many lives in her time on Rocky Top and positively impacted the community. Williams sending his daughter to her camp is a similar story to so many who grew up in the region.
Summitt is often given credit for raising the profile of women’s college basketball and putting it on a national stage.
Williams isn’t the first coach to take a moment and honor the former Lady Vols coach. He certainly won’t be the last.