Pat Summitt

“She had three hearts: the heart of a mother, the heart for others, and a heart for Jesus Christ…. I heard three words every single day of my life. ‘I love you.’ Every day. It didn’t matter how busy she was or what she had to do, she took the time to stop and tell me that. And not only did she say it, but she showed it. She walked the talk.”

Tyler Summitt (’12), son of Pat Summitt

“I laid my head on her shoulder and wrapped my arms around her one last time. I kissed her and then stood up to leave the room. I walked slowly, looked back, and wished that for one more time we could see Pat’s smile, her eyes, her nod of assurance that ‘Catch, it’s going to be alright.’ Over the last 20 years of my life, you have helped mold me, shape me, and love me into the person that I am today. I’m so blessed to have had you in my life.”

Lady Vol Tamika Catchings (’00 & ’05)

“As I prepared to break from our huddle one last time, I left Pat with these final words: ‘I love you, Coach. I am who I am largely because of who you are. Thank you.’ I kissed her on her forehead, took a deep breath, and prepared for the next play, just as I did so many times before.”

Lady Vol Cierra Burdick (’15)

“Pat Summitt didn’t just change the history of Tennessee basketball or make this arena notable well beyond the borders of this state. She changed the history of the sport she loved and of sports in general. She almost single-handedly made women’s sports relevant well beyond mothers and daughters, sisters, and grandmothers. Heck, every Tennessee football player, including me, would have been proud to have been coached by Pat Summitt.”

Peyton Manning (’97)

“Her legacy, however, is measured much more by the generations of young women and men who admired Pat’s intense competitiveness and character, and as a result found in themselves the confidence to practice hard, play harder, and live with courage on and off the court. As Pat once said in recalling her achievements, ‘What I see are not the numbers. I see their faces.’”

President Barack Obama

“The confidence she instilled within me to stand up and speak out was life changing. Pat helped me discover a voice I didn’t know I had. If she did this for me, imagine what she did for the 160 other players.”

Lady Vol Michelle Marciniak (’95)

“Through everything, she had tremendous faith in God. She didn’t talk about it; she walked about it. She never pushed her faith on anyone, but she lived her life in such a way that her life and her life lessons exemplified Christ.”

Lady Vol Shelley Sexton Collier (’87 & ’89)

“We’re going to do the best we can to carry on this legacy that you’ve built and continue the Lady Vol tradition.”

Lady Vol Candace Parker (’08)

“I want to thank you for every moment, every minute I had with you. For giving me the opportunity, a dream come true, to play for you, to play for Tennessee.”

Lady Vol Brittany Jackson (’04)

“A true coaching legend, Pat Summitt rewrote the NCAA record books and left an indelible mark on sports. Even more than her incredible achievements on the basketball court, her legacy will be her passion for her sport and her commitment to inspiring the next generation of young athletes.”

Lisa Borders, WNBA president

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