Louisville, KY (WAVE) - Hall of Fame Tennessee women's head basketball coach Pat Summitt lost her battle with early onset dementia on Tuesday. Summitt was 64.
She won 1,098 games, the most by an NCAA Division I head coach, men's or women's. Summitt also led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and 22 Final Four's.
In November of 2010, Tennessee beat UofL 63-50 in the first game in the KFC YUM! Center.
" Well when we found out that we were going to have the opportunity to open up and play the first game, we wanted to go out and find a marquee program and of course Tennessee was it," Cards women's head coach Jeff Walz said. "So we called up Pat. Pat agreed to do it and we were able to fill this place at 22,000 and I still think today, we probably picked up 2 or 3,000 season ticket holders just from that one game."
Former UofL player and assistant coach Wade Houston left Louisville in 1989 to take over as the Tennessee men's head coach. He led the program from 1989 to 1994.
" Just to have my office two doors down from Pat's office was really helpful because we'd often talk," Houston told WAVE 3 Sports. "She'd come down to my office. I'd go down to her office and we'd talk about different aspects of the game."
Houston's son, Allan, is Tennessee's all-time leading scorer. Wade says Summitt was intense and a student of the game.
" I remember when I first got there, maybe the first or second day after I had gotten there, she came down to my office and just sat down and said, if you're going to be in tomorrow I'd like to come down and maybe grab lunch and just toss some things around," Houston said. "I was curious as to what she would want to ask me, I said, because she had won all these championships and she was just such a legendary coach and iconic figure so, but she wanted to know about our 2-2-1 press that we ran here at UofL, with Coach Crum, was so famous for, our switching man-to-man defense."
There will be a Celebration of Life Service honoring Summitt in Knoxville, Tennessee, on July 14. It will be held in Thompson-Boling Arena on the UT campus at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.
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