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.
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.
|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.|
MORE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- S. Carolina still No. 1 as Stanford falls to 16
- St. John's gives coach Tartamella an extension
- Storm's Jackson returns from 11-month layoff
- Hill ends playing career, named honorary coach