Pat Summitt, who is currently entering her 39th season as the women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennesse, has more wins under her belt than anyone else in college basketball history. On Tuesday, she announced that she has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.
Summitt has won 1,071 games and eight national championships. She wrote an open letter to the University of Tennessee community disclosing her condition. Perhaps most surprising is that she has no intention of stepping down from her position.
“I plan to continue to be your coach,” she says. “Obviously, I realize I
may have some limitations with this condition since there will be some
good days and some bad days. For that reason, I will be relying on my
outstanding coaching staff like never before.”
She told the Washington post that she was alerted to a problem last season when she drew a blank during a game.
Pat’s 20-year-old son, Tyler, plays basketball at Tennessee and released a statement about his mother’s condition. “It seems like she teaches me something new every day,” he says, “and she is currently giving me one of the best life lessons
of all: to have the courage to be open, honest, and face the truth.”