End of a Legendary Career

WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Summit; noun. The top, the highest point or the pinnacle. Such a definition certainly fits Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt.

Although I have nothing against The University of Tennessee and its teams, I’m not particularly a fan, but this lady is too special to ignore. Although she has not made any announcement as yet, this week’s loss to the Lady Bears may have been Summitt’s last game to coach.

If so, she goes out as the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history—male or female. According to UTLadyVols.com, her teams have a won-lost record of 1,071-199 for a winning percentage of .843.They have won 16 SEC Championships and 8 NCAA Championships. She has been NCAA coach of the year seven times and was named Naismith Coach of the Century in 2000.

Even beyond her phenomenal record, she is among the most respected figures in all of sports. There are a few people like Arnold Palmer and Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi who transcend their own sports. Pat Summitt is one of these. You don’t have to be a women’s basketball fan—or even a basketball fan at all—to be familiar with her name.

Kim Mulkey, who is building quite a reputation for herself as coach of the Baylor Lady Bears, attributes much of what she has learned as a coach to Summitt. After her Lady Bears ended the season for the Lady Vols, Mulkey said, “It’s not fun for me to coach against Pat.”

Over the years, it hasn’t been fun for a lot of coaches to go up against her. Any coach wants to win, and playing a Summitt-coached team has never been a real good way to assure winning.

The Bible says there is a time and a season for all things. The handwriting on the wall appeared for Pat Summitt last summer when she was diagnosed with the beginnings of Alzheimers. As great a competitor as she is, that’s a battle she can’t win. Whether she chooses to go out now or next year or whenever, join me in saluting this grand lady. She truly has no peers.

* * * * *

In other business, last Friday I announced that as a part of our Milestone Friday celebration I’d give free downloads of my upcoming e-book Web Wisdom: Inspiration from the Inbox to one commenter and one subscriber. I’m happy to announce that the winner among the commenters is Marcy Kennedy, and among the subscribers, Amber West. Congratulations, ladies. It isn’t out yet, but as soon as it is, I’ll be getting your copies to you.

clip_image003David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his non-fiction Web Wisdom: Godly Inspiration from the Inbox and starting his new fiction work—a series of novellas set during the period from 1860 to 1880—using methods he and @KristenLambTX developed when they cofounded Warrior Writers Boot Camp.

Contact me at davwalktx@yahoo.com or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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12 Responses to End of a Legendary Career

  1. I’ve never enjoyed watching sports, but I LOVE the inspiration stories behind them. Thanks for sharing this lovely tribute, David.

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  2. Marcia says:

    Very nice tribute to smart, strong woman. Sad that she’ll be ending her career due to a horrible disease.

    Congrats to your LLC Milestone Friday winners!

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  3. I don’t follow any sports really, but a woman who can stand out in a generally male-dominated industry must know her stuff. I learned something new 🙂 Thanks.

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  4. Jenny Hansen says:

    Ditto for Catie’s comment. My mom adored Pat Summitt. She’ll be delighted when the two of them get together to talk sports up in heaven. 🙂

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  5. Catie's MoM says:

    Great article on a great lady. Pat Summitt is among a handful of brave, dedicated, talented women who have paved the way for women’s basketball. During my playing days in high school the women’s team was always put on the back burner. Thanks to Pat and other coaches we now watch the games on television (although not as many as the men’s teams-but hopefully that will change also).

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  6. Catie Rhodes says:

    My mother *loves* women’s college basketball. Mom is the only reason I know who Pat Summitt is. LOL I sent her the link to this post. 😀

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