KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Pat Summitt is stepping aside as Tennessee's women's basketball coach and taking the title of "head coach emeritus," with longtime assistant Holly Warlick being promoted to replace the sport's winningest coach.
Tennessee released a statement Wednesday announcing the move.
The 59-year-old Summitt will report to the athletic director and help the women's program she guided to eight national titles. She said she supports Warlick, her assistant for 27 years and a three-time All-American playing for Summitt, as her replacement and wants to ensure the stability of the program.
The move comes less than a year after her diagnosis with early onset dementia-Alzheimer's type.
"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 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."
This is very sad. Pretty much, she is not able to truly go out on her own terms because dementia is forcing her hand.
Pat Summitt is the reason I began following Women's College Basketball & the reason why it grew into the big time sport it is today. She is a true legend & a class act to boot. It was sad watching her this past year because you could clearly see the illness had already begun to affect her. She just did not have the same passion & fire that was her trademark over her great career. My hope now is that she will fight this with that same passion & fire & live as many quality years as possible.
As a UConn Huskies fan I've always hated the Tennesee Lady Vols but through the years I have come to respect Pat Summitt. There is no question that she was an outstanding coach who had a tremendously positive influence on the young women who played on her teams.
Such a sad story. I can't imagine being in that position and being told that eventually everything you know will be forgotten. Having to step away from everything you know and love cause you see signs it is creeping in, slowly but surely. Gonna be odd not to see her as much during TN games.