Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt Steps Down

She slides into coach emeritus job to cope with early onset dementia
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2012 2:24 PM CDT
Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt Steps Down
Pat Summitt cuts down the net after Tennessee beat LSU 70-58 in the championship of the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn, March 4, 2012.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

It's the end of an era: Pat Summitt is stepping down as head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols after 38 seasons and eight national titles, sliding into a less demanding "coach emeritus" job, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. Though it was not explicitly given as a reason for her decision, the move comes less than a year after Summitt revealed that she had early onset dementia.

Associate head coach Holly Warlick will take over for Summitt. "I feel really good about my decision," says Summit, 59. "I feel like Holly's been doing the bulk of it. She deserves to be the head coach." Summitt, who AP notes is the sport's winningest coach of all time, won't be entirely out of the picture, however. She believes her newly created position will allow her to attend practices, talk with players, and, crucially, help recruit. "I don't know exactly what it's going to be," she admitted. (More Pat Summitt stories.)

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