The University of Tennessee is experiencing a rare changing of the guard in leadership of their women’s basketball program. Less than a year after announcing she has early onset dementia, or Alzheimer’s, Pat Summitt is stepping aside clearing the way for her long-time assistant to become head coach for the Lady Vols.
Holly Warlick, also a former player under Summit, will be promoted to replace the sport’s winningest coach. Summit will become the “head coach emeritus” as she continues to work with the program that she has lead to eight national championships.
“I’ve loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role,” Summitt said.
The Hall of Fame coach says she supports Tennessee’s decision to promote Warlick.
“I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward,” Pat said.
Summitt says she plans to continue coaching for as long as possible. She does, however, admit her condition has caused problems with memory loss both on and off the court during the previous season. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that destroys cognitive abilities over time.
Following this announcement, Summitt was praised by her colleagues and competitors for her role as a pioneer in the sport of women’s basketball.