Nice piece on Her Majesty:
When Pat Summitt became women’s basketball coach at Tennessee in 1974, she was 22 and Title IX was 2.
Not that she had a clue the legislation and her career would help revolutionize women’s sports.
Nor did she have designs on collecting NCAA titles. The NCAA was seven years away from taking control of women’s sports from the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.
Nor did she have any notion of getting rich.
Her concerns were basic: “I was trying to figure out how to organize a practice.”
Leon Barmore, a Hall of Fame coach for his work at Louisiana Tech and now an assistant at Baylor, equates Summitt to men’s coach John Wooden, who won 10 titles at UCLA.
“She’s the best of our game. There’s nothing in the game she can’t do. She can administrate, coach x’s and o’s and motivate.”
And not just players. “I’ve said it before: she made my career,” Barmore says. “Me playing against Pat Summitt, she gave me that person and program that made me reach deeper than I ever thought I could reach, if I was going to play them. I really compliment that now.”
Summitt’s confrontations now are informed challenges. Tennessee players take personality tests and meet with a sports psychologist so Summitt knows what buttons to push. “We didn’t take any personality tests,” says Warlick, one of the 70 former Summitt players, assistants or managers who have gone into coaching.
Summitt wants every edge, psychological, physical or tactical.
Smart woman. Now if the Baby Vols could get it together and get those two more wins for her……