Lady Vols' Summitt donating $600K to university
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Coach Pat Summitt will donate $600,000 to the University of Tennessee to be shared by the Knoxville and Martin campuses.
The donation will be given over several years to support the women's basketball programs at both campuses and includes a $100,000 endowed scholarship for a Lady Vols basketball graduate assistant in honor of Summitt's parents, Richard and Hazel Head.
The 56-year-old Summitt has spent 34 seasons as the Lady Vols coach and led the program to an unprecedented eight national championships, including titles in each of the last two years. She is 983-182 overall.
Summitt played basketball and volleyball at Tennessee-Martin.
"I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to play basketball as a student-athlete at UT-Martin and spend 35 years as a coach at UT-Knoxville," Summitt said. "I appreciate every opportunity both schools have given me and hope this gift will afford other young women the same opportunities."
Two other coaches have made similar contributions. Men's coach Bruce Pearl endowed the Dane Bradshaw Scholarship Endowment in March 2007 and football coach Phillip Fulmer announced in August 2007 a $1 million gift for academics and athletics.
"Pat is an amazing asset for the University of Tennessee," UT President John Petersen said in a statement. "Far beyond her obvious achievements as a coach, she is a role model, a leader, a champion for academics and graduation, and I cannot imagine a single individual who has done more to contribute to the success and the respect of women's athletics in this country."
As a student at Tennessee-Martin, Summitt played basketball and volleyball from 1970-1974 there and was courted to coach at the Knoxville campus as a 21-year-old senior.
"We are excited to have this generous support from coach Summitt. Her commitment will provide a major boost to our women's athletics program," UT-Martin Chancellor Thomas Rakes said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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