Stuff legends are made of

Updated: March 18, 2005, 9:04 PM ET
ESPN.com

Some say the road to Pat Summitt's success all began more than 30 years ago, when she took over Tennessee in September 1974, then co-captained Team USA to a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics. Others argue that Summitt truly broke onto the national scene in the '80s, when she coached the USA to its first gold medal in women's basketball in Olympic competition (1984) and won her first two NCAA titles.

pat summitt
Pat Summitt has guided Tennessee to eight national championships.

Either way, Summitt ensured her legendary status in the 1990s, when she won four national championships, including a then-unprecedented three straight from 1996-98. Most recently, Summitt led the Lady Vols to their NCAA-record 15th Final Four, and the past two national championship games.

Summitt, who ranks second only to legendary UCLA coach Wooden for the most NCAA titles, has produced 14 30-plus win seasons and boasts an .837 winning percentage.

Here's a look at some of the bigger moments from the 52-year-old's career in Knoxville, Tenn., as she continues to close in on Dean Smith's NCAA record 879 career victories.

Jan. 10, 1975: Summitt wins her first game as a coach at the collegiate level, a 69-32 victory over Middle Tennessee State in Tennessee's Alumni Gym in front of 53 spectators. She's only 22.

Jan. 13, 1979: Summitt hits the century mark, winning her 100th game, a 79-66 victory over N.C. State.

Dec. 3, 1982: Tennessee beats St. John's 69-56 in Detroit's Coca-Cola Classic for Summitt's 200th coaching victory.

Jan. 4, 1987: An 87-68 victory over North Carolina earns Summitt win No. 300.

March 29, 1987: The Lady Vols win their first NCAA title, beating Louisiana Tech 67-44 at the Erwin Events Center on the University of Texas campus.

BEST OF THE BEST
Pat Summitt's six NCAA titles ranks second only to John Wooden's 10 national championships at UCLA. Kentucky's Adolph Rupp is next in line with four titles.

But Summitt is tops when you're talking NCAA Tournament wins. Of the three NCAA champion coaches, Summitt's teams have played in and recorded the most tourney victories, winning 85 of 102 NCAA games. Wooden's Bruins won 47 of 57 NCAA contests. Rupp's Wildcats won 30 of 48.

Summitt also is the quickest coach to win 800 games, doing so in 961 games. Rupp achieved 800 wins in 972 games.

Former North Carolina men's coach Dean Smith, college basketball's all-time winningest college coach, retired with an 879-254 record in 36 seasons. He needed 1,029 games to reach the 800-win plateau.
April 2, 1989: Summitt and the Vols win NCAA title No. 2, beating SEC rival Auburn 76-60 at the Tacoma Dome.

Jan. 25, 1990: Tennessee beats South Carolina 70-69 to deliver win No. 400.

March 31, 1991: The Lady Vols beat Virginia 70-67 in the first overtime national championship game for the Summitt's third NCAA title, this time winning in New Orleans, La.

Nov. 21, 1993: Summitt's 500th coaching victory arrives with the Vols' 80-45 victory over Ohio State.

March 31, 1996: Lady Vols capture their fourth NCAA title, this time in Charlotte, N.C., with a 83-65 win over Georgia.

Nov. 23, 1996: Five games into the season, Tennessee beats Marquette 83-68 for Summitt's 600th coaching victory.

March 30, 1997: Despite losing 10 games on the season, the Lady Vols upset Old Dominion 68-59 in Cincinnatti, Ohio, for the program's fifth national championship.

Feb. 22, 1998: Lady Vols beat Louisiana State 90-58 at Thompson-Boling Arena to cap a 30-0 record, the program's first undefeated regular season.

March 29, 1998: Tennessee beats Louisiana Tech 93-75 in Kansas City, Mo., to wrap up a perfect 39-0 season and its unprecedented third consecutive NCAA title.

Jan. 17, 1999: More than 50 former players attend Summitt's Silver Anniversary gathering. Midway through Summitt's 25th season at Tennessee, the Lady Vols beat Kentucky 98-60.

Dec. 5, 1999: The Lady Vols beat Wisconsin 85-62 on the road to capture Summitt's 700th career coaching victory.

Feb. 2, 2000: Tennessee beats top-ranked Connecticut 72-71 on the road. The Lady Vols' victory would be UConn's only loss during the Huskies' NCAA title run.

March 5, 2000: Tennessee rallies for a 70-67 win over Mississippi State in the SEC championship game to claim an unprecendented third consecutive conference tournament title and 10th overall.

March 31, 2000: The Lady Vols beat Rutgers 64-54 at Final Four to advance to NCAA-record ninth national championship game.

April, 2000: Summitt is named Naismith coach of the century, then is doubly honored as former Lady Vol Chamique Holdsclaw is named the Naismith player of the century.

Oct. 13, 2000: In a class that included Isiah Thomas and Bob McAdoo, Summitt is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., the first time she was eligible for the Hall's ballot. Summitt was just the fourth women's basketball coach to earn Hall of Fame honors.

Feb. 1, 2001: In one of the top games in the storied rivalry with Connecticut, Summitt earns win No. 750 with a 92-88 victory over the Huskies in Thompson-Boling Arena.

Nov. 18, 2001: In their 2001-02 home-opener, the Lady Vols rout USC 106-66 as Summitt wins her 200th game at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Nov. 23, 2001: Summitt notches her 300th all-time win against a ranked opponent as Tennessee beats Louisiana Tech.

Feb. 7, 2002: Tennessee's 93-65 win over Arkansas marks Summitt's 1,000th game as a head coach (including college and international contests).

March 25, 2002: With a 69-63 win over Vanderbilt in the Midwest Regional final, Summitt earns her NCAA-record 13th Final Four appearance, surpassing Wooden. The 788th win also ties Summitt with Texas coach Jody Conradt for most wins among women's basketball coaches.

Jan. 14, 2003: Tennessee beats DePaul 76-57 in Knoxville, Tenn., as Summitt becomes the first women's coach -- and female -- to reach the 800-win plateau. She also is the quickest to do so, needing 961 games. Adolph Rupp achieved 800 in 972 games; Dean Smith needed 1,029.

Feb. 29, 2004: With a 85-62 victory over LSU, Tennessee wraps up an unprecedented seventh-consecutive SEC regular-season championship -- with a perfect 14-0 record.

March 6, 2005: After failing to win at least a share of the SEC regular-season title for the first time since 1997, the fifth-ranked Lady Vols upset No. 1 LSU 67-65 in the SEC tournament final for Summitt's first conference tourney crown in five seasons.

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