Pat Summitt, Univ. of TN women’s basketball coach, dead at 64

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Pat Summitt
Pat Summitt (Photo Courtesy: MGN Online/Pat Summit Foundation)

KNOXVILLE, Tn. (CNN/WTVQ) – A legendary women’s basketball coach and a champion for women has died.

Pat Summitt, who built the University of Tennessee’s Lady Volunteers into a perennial power died on Tuesday at a retirement facility surrounded by those who meant the most to her.  Summitt was just 64 years old.

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Since 2011, Summitt has battled early onset dementia.  In her 38 years at Tennessee, Summitt won eight national titles and one thousand and 98-games — the most by any division one basketball coach of any gender.  Her teams made an unprecedented 31 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.

She retired in 2012, a year after she was diagnosed.

Summitt received several awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Summitt’s son, Tyler, released a statement saying a private service and burial will be held in middle Tennessee.  He also said there will be a public celebration of her life which will take place in one of her favorite places, Thompson-Boling Arena.

The University of Tennessee also issued a statement, saying that Summit was “a global icon who transcended sports and spent her entire life making a difference in other people’s lives.”