So much to pull out of this story:
RUSTON, La. — On Dec. 7, 1974, Pat Summitt coached her first game for the University of Tennessee. Forty years later to the date, her son, Tyler, coached his first home game for Louisiana Tech.
“Gives you chills almost,” Tyler Summitt said when told of the coincidence before the Lady Techsters’ game Sunday.
The original Coach Summitt lost her first game at Tennessee — something she was quick to remind Tyler about after he and Louisiana Tech won their season opener earlier this season.
“[It’s] probably the only thing I’ll ever beat her at when it comes to coaching,” Tyler joked.
One close friend had a seat next to Tyler on the Louisiana Tech bench.
Summitt’s former associate head coach, Mickie DeMoss, returned to her alma mater to coach alongside Tyler. Twenty-four years earlier, she had a very different responsibility — getting Pat Summitt to Knoxville via chartered plane so she could deliver Tyler back home in Knoxville after her water broke on a recruiting trip.
“That’s what makes life so fascinating,” DeMoss said Saturday at practice. “Now that I look at it in the present moment, it all kind of unfolded the way it was supposed to. I really love working with Tyler and am committed to helping him get this program rolling.”
One fan was personally invited by Tyler: NBA Hall of Fame player and Louisiana Tech graduate Karl Malone.
Before the game, Malone spoke with Tyler and his mother. He then watched La. Tech win on the court that bears his name.
As you will recall, Malone was critical of Tech when they fired Theresa Weatherspoon last spring. So him being there today is big.
This is cool, too:
Former La. Tech coach Leon Barmore, who coached the Lady Techsters to the 1988 NCAA title and is a Naismith Hall of Famer, also attended Sunday’s game.