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.
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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.
David 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @davidnwalkertx