PALO ALTO, CA - DECEMBER 20: Tennessee Lady Volunteers head coach Pat Summitt waves to the crowd when she enters the arena for their game against the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion on December 20, 2011 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Pat Summitt Retires As Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach, Named 'Head Coach Emeritus'

Legendary Tennessee Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with dementia. Summitt, 59, will also try to coach this season.

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Pat Summitt To Receive Medal Of Freedom

Tennessee Lady Vols head basketball coach Pat Summitt announced on Wednesday that she will be retiring after nearly four decades with the team. In her 38 years at Tennessee, Summitt amassed eight NCAA titles and more wins than any other head coach in college basketball history.

David Jackson of USA Today reports that Summit will be awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that a United States civilian can receive. The White House announced on Wednesday that President Obama will present the award to the legendary coach.

"Coach Summitt is an inspiration, both as the all-time winningest NCAA coach, and as someone who is willing to speak so openly and courageously about her battle with Alzheimer's," Obama said in a statement.

Summitt was diagnosed with dementia in August. She will stay on with the school as head coach emeritus.

For more on Summitt and the Volunteers, head over to the SB Nation blog Rocky Top Talk and stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Holly Warlick Named Tennesse Head Coach After Pat Summitt Retires

Holly Warlick has been named the new head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers women's basketball program following Pat Summitt's retirement Wednesday afternoon. Warlick was a three-time All-American as a player for the Lady Vols, and has spent the last 27 seasons with the program as an assistant under Summitt.

The university released a statement Wednesday officially announcing Summitt's retirement and naming Warlick as her successor. In the statement, Summitt expressed her full support for Warlick, as well as her continued passion for her players and the game.

"I've loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role," said Summitt. "I support Holly Warlick being named the next head coach, and I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward. I would like to emphasize that I fully intend to continue working as head coach emeritus, mentoring and teaching life skills to our players, and I will continue my active role as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer's through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund.

"If anyone asks, you can find me observing practice or in my office. Coaching is the great passion of my life, and the job to me has always been an opportunity to work with our student-athletes and help them discover what they want. I will continue to make them my passion. I love our players and my fellow coaches, and that's not going to change."

In turn, Warlick gave gratitude to Summitt, and thanked the university for the opportunity to lead one of women's basketball's most storied programs.

"I'm very thankful for all Pat Summitt has done to prepare me for this opportunity," said Warlick. "She is my coach, mentor, and great friend, and I am honored with the opportunity to continue and add to the great tradition of this program. I'd like to thank Dave Hart, Chancellor Cheek, and the University for having confidence in me to lead the Lady Vol program, and we will work as hard as we possibly can with the goal of hanging more banners in Thompson-Boling Arena."

For more on Summitt and the Volunteers, head over to the SB Nation blog Rocky Top Talk and stay tuned to this StoryStream.


Pat Summitt Retires As Tennessee Head Coach, Will Serve As 'Head Coach Emeritus'

Pat Summitt has retired as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers women's basketball program. She was diagnosed with early onset dementia in the summer of 2011, but stayed on to lead the Lady Volunteers through the 2011-12 season. She will remain with the program under the title of "head coach emeritus," which will allow her to serve as a mentor to players and pitch in with on-campus recruiting.

The university is expected to release a statement officially announcing Summitt's retirement sometime Wednesday afternoon after she has met with her players in Knoxville. A press conference is expected for Thursday.

Summitt won 1,098 games in her career, more than any coach ever in college basketball, man or woman. She also won eight NCAA titles in her 38-year stint leading Tennessee, including consecutive titles in the 1996, 1997 and 1998 Women's NCAA Tournaments.

For more on Summitt and the Volunteers, head over to the SB Nation blog Rocky Top Talk and stay tuned to this StoryStream.


Pat Summitt And Dementia: Medical Expert Explains The Coach's Diagnosis

SB Nation's medical expert explains more about Pat Summitt's early-onset dementia, a debilitating disease that the legendary Tennessee basketball coach was diagnosed with this week.


Pat Summitt Is Human

On Tuesday, Tennesse women's basketball coach Pat Summitt announced that she's suffering from dementia at 59 years old, and while she'll try to continue coaching, it doesn't distract us from the most shocking news of all: She's human. Plus: Earthquakes, training camp pranks, Will Smith's mansion, Apple-topia, and an athlete's ode to Voltron.

Talking Points is a series that highlights some of the best stories in sports (and elsewhere). Read the archives here.


VIDEO: Pat Summitt Discusses Alzheimer's Diagnosis, Decision To Keep Coaching

Tennessee Volunteers fans, and those of us with no particular ties to Vols athletics, were crushed Tuesday to learn longtime Lady Vols coaching great Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. Summitt, of course, has chosen to face the disease in truly Summitt fashion, announcing she intends to keep coaching for the 2011-12 season.

In a video statement provided to GoVolsXtra, she described the basics of her situation and what it means for the university:

A transcript of Summitt's statement:

Throughout my career, I have always made it a point that my life and our basketball program were an open book. With that in mind, I have something to share with my Tennessee family, the university, boosters and fans of Lady Vols basketball.

Once last season concluded, I addressed some ongoing concerns regarding my health. After consulting with my local physicians, I decided to visit the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Earlier this year, the doctors at the Mayo Clinic diagnosed me with an early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type, at the age of 59.

I plan to continue to be your coach. For that reason, I will be relying on my outstanding coaching staff like never before. We've always collaborated on every facet of Lady Vols basketball, and now you will see Holly Warlick, Mickie DeMoss and Dean Lockwood taking on more responsibility as their duties are changing significantly.

I love being your coach and the privilege to go to work every day with our outstanding Lady Vol basketball student-athletes. I appreciate the complete support of UT  chancellor Dr. Jimmy Cheek and UT athletics director Joan Cronan to continue coaching at the University of Tennessee as long as the good Lord is willing. 

I've been honest and I've shared my health concerns with you, and now we'll move forward with the business at hand: coaching the Lady Vols. For the time being, I hope you'll respect my privacy regarding this matter.

Thank you.

For more, here's a seven-minute video interview Summitt shared with the Washington Post's Sally Jenkins.

For the Tennessee reaction and analysis, check out Rocky Top Talk.


Pat Summitt Diagnosed With Dementia, Will Try To Coach Tennessee Basketball This Year

Legendary Tennessee Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with dementia. Summitt, 59, will also try to coach this season.

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