Head passed away at home, surrounded by family

Updated: October 25, 2005, 10:48 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. -- Richard Head, father of Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, died Sunday, just 10 days after celebrating his 83rd birthday.

Head passed away at home surrounded by family in Henrietta, Tenn., the Boyd Funeral Home said. Friends of the family said he had been ill for about a year.

Head is survived by Hazel Albright Head, his wife of 63 years, and five children, including Summitt, who last season became the winningest coach in NCAA history and recently had the court at Thompson-Boling Arena named in her honor.

Summitt missed practice in Knoxville on Monday to be with her family. She often credited her father, a tobacco and dairy farmer, with instilling in his three sons and two daughters a strong work ethic and sense of discipline.

Head put up a basket on the family farm's hayloft so his children could play basketball after finishing chores. Later, he moved the family to a neighboring county so his daughter could enroll at a high school that had a girls' basketball team.

Head is also survived by nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Pat Summitt's son, Tyler Summitt, will be a pallbearer at his grandfather's funeral, which will be held Wednesday at the Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church, where Head was an active member for more than 73 years.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church Building Fund.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.