Pat Summitt, legendary college and Olympic basketball coach, has passed away at the age of 64 after battling Alzheimer’s, the AP reports.
Pat coached the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team for years, and was college basketball’s most winningest coach of all time.
“She died peacefully this morning at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most,” Pat‘s son, Tyler Summitt, said in a statement. “She’ll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many. he was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure.”
“Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ and she did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced. Even though it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease,” Tyler added.
Peyton Manning, a Tennessee alum and a friend of Pat‘s, released a statement as well: “She could have coached any team, any sport, men’s or women’s. It wouldn’t have mattered because Pat could flat out coach. I will miss her dearly, and I am honored to call her my friend. My thoughts and prayers are with Tyler and their entire family.”
Our thoughts are with Pat‘s friends and loved ones during this time.