Pat Summitt: A Legend Steps Down, but Will Not Be Forgotten

Jon O'ConnorCorrespondent IApril 18, 2012

Pat Summitt
Pat Summitt

Coaching is a career that takes its toll on a person. Bouncing from school to school, job to job and city to city is not for everyone. Pat Head Summitt took her job to another level, staying at one school in her home state for 38 seasons and never looking in a different direction. 

After announcing her retirement today, college basketball fans everywhere should give respect where respect is due.

Summit's resume boasts 1,098 wins and only 207 losses in 38 seasons as head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols.

Starting at the ripe age of 22 as a graduate assistant in the 1974-75 season, Pat Summitt began what is will go down as one of the greatest coaching tenures in the history of college basketball. In her 38 seasons, Coach Summitt has seen 31 NCAA tournaments, the Final Four 18 times and has never received a seed lower than fifth.

Eight national titles, an Olympic gold medal and 16 SEC conference titles later, there will be some big shoes to fill. 

After being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease last season, Pat decided she was going to remain the head coach and power through the disease while doing the job she loves, relying heavily on her assistant coaches to guide her team back to the NCAA tournament. 

Pat's 27-year assistant Holly Warlick will take over the job as head coach. After being with each other for such a long time, it will be easy to see that Warlick will be an extension of Summitt. 

Summitt has said she will remain with the team as an assistant and will help them in the future to more titles and NCAA tournament appearances. 

Saying goodbye to Coach Summitt will not be easy and looking over at the bench and seeing someone else call the shots will not be the same.

Hats off to Patricia "Pat" Head Summitt, you will be sorely missed!