Summitt on receiving end with tales leading up to 1,000 victories

Pat Summitt usually gives the orders.

For Sunday, the "Day of 1,000 Stories" at the Tennessee Theatre, she was on the receiving end: Be there at noon and wear something orange.

The Tennessee women's basketball coach didn't ask any questions. She took a seat on the left side of the stage and thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon devoted to celebrating her career and her 1,000th career coaching victory. The milestone was achieved with a 73-43 victory over Georgia on Feb. 5. Summitt couldn't have asked for a better day.

"As coaches you don't really stop and reflect,'' Summitt said. "You're always worried about the next day or the next practice or the next game. It was very touching."

UT officials went to great lengths to surround Summitt with family and friends and adorn the stage with numerous props, including the program's eight national championship trophies.

"I thought what could we do," Lady Vols athletic director Joan Cronan said, "and it's hard to think of something to do for somebody who has everything and for something this significant.

"To me, everybody here is a part of history."

The stars of the tribute were Lady Vols past and present, who represented the entirety of Summitt's 35-year coaching career. But they had some stiff competition.

For example, Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry joked about visiting the sanitation department and a corrections facility in search of something orange to wear. She settled for a department store but left the price tags intact.

"I'm here to represent all the coaches who are in awe of what you've done,'' Larry told Summitt.

There also were poignant outtakes from a yet-to-be-released DVD chronicling Summitt's life. In one of the snippets, Summitt revealed the personal achievement that means the most to her is the birth of her son, Tyler, who's about to graduate from Webb School and will be attending UT next year.

"As much as I've taught him, he's probably taught me even more,'' Summitt says during the documentary.

The players, though, brought the day's theme to life, parading to the stage in two shifts to share their stories. Dianne Brady Fetzer was one of several players in attendance from Summitt's first team (1974-75). Some were wearing T-shirts inscribed with "First Win."

Brady Fetzer recalled discussing defense with Summitt on a van ride home from a road game.

"Me telling Pat what defense to play is like telling Moses how to part the Red Sea,'' Brady Fetzer said.

She also remembered being so intent on following Summitt's instructions that the former point guard forgot to pass on an inbounds play, dribbling instead.

"She said she knew at that moment that she had me,'' Brady Fetzer said.

Several former players collaborated on recounting a middle-of-the-night practice after returning from a road loss at Vanderbilt. Karla Horton Douglas capped it with the rest of the story, saying the players piled into Dawn Marsh's car afterward and went to Krispy Kreme.

Summitt finished another story that recalled Trish Roberts giving a one-finger salute to the fans at Ole Miss after fouling out of a game. Summitt said afterward that Roberts had been the victim of a racial epithet.

Kellie Jolly Harper, the new coach at North Carolina State, was among the second wave of storytellers, as was departing senior Alex Fuller, who will be a graduate assistant at Kansas next season.

Former point guard Michelle Marciniak spoke directly to the current Lady Vols in attendance, who had a 22-11 season that ended in March with a program first: a first-round NCAA tournament loss to Ball State.

"It's going to be H-E-double toothpicks, but you're going to win a national championship," Marciniak said.

Guard Shekinna Stricklen, the lone current player on the stage, spoke directly to Summitt. She walked over to her, went down on one knee and said. "I'm coming to you begging: can we please have our locker room back?' "

Perhaps Stricklen thought she'd catch her coach at a moment of weakness. Think again. The story of last year's team being banished from the locker room will be continued - at least for awhile.

"I have thought about it,'' Summitt said. "I'm going to wait and see how they start practice this fall. They're going to have to show our staff that they've learned and they are going to be invested."

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Comments » 35

oldvolsfan writes:

sweet

MillisaAnn writes:

Go Pat!!! Go Lady Vols!!!

teampenny#658108 writes:

She deserves all the honors that comes with success. She has set standards that know one else may ever reach. However, big time sports is about now and Pat would agree with that. We went through a rebuilding year with very little improvement toward the end of the season. We come back with the same team for the most part. It will be a great season if we can make the sweet sixteen. I believe we will be down until we get some new girls on the court. May need to shake up coaching staff. Time will tell. Go Vols

VOLKING writes:

This is just a perfect set-up for Butchisback to come and tell us how much better Cheato....I mean Geno... is as a coach than Pat. C'mon B*tchisback, let's hear your best David Koresh voice while you're at it....wacko. Pat is the ALL TIME BEST....period. Put women's bball on the map. Everyone respects and admires her. Nobody respects and admires Geno.

bmaples writes:

No discussion of last year or next year needed. For this moment, let's just celebrate an amazing human being and an amazing career.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Well deserved kudoes for a grand career.

Well done, Lady Vol.

chatteastbrainerd writes:

Is there a complete list of all of the former Lady Vols in attendance? Is there any video of the celebration online?

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

They are slow and with no outside shooting. Often lacked desire to win. You may change the ladies attitudes but you can not make them faster nor usually can you teach them to shoot. I agree they could make a run in three but they are not likely to go any where next year. Another big U Con year. Hate to say that. Go Vols

LadyVolFanForever writes:

Yesterday was a celebration of Coach Summitt, who she is and what she has accomplished. It was very much deserved and it was great to see so many former Lady Vols return to celebrate with her. Some of you just don't understand that the Lady Vol basketball teams are family, one big loving, admiring, respecting family forever ! It is a time to rejoice in what Coach Summitt has meant to women's basketball and to so many young womens' lives.......

THANK YOU COACH SUMMITT, YOU ARE THE BEST !!!

slsmithsr#269458 writes:

I think the write up over @ Scout.com is the longest I've ever seen on that site.

catch24rules writes:

I think this was a great tribute for Pat. She has left her mark on Women's basketball that no one will ever match.

Someone made the comment about a staff shake up if the team isn't improved this year. That's just crazy thinking we have the best staff in all of women's basketball.

It's not the coaching staff's fault if a player isn't playing with heart to help her team win.

This young team will be much improved next season, if they put in the work over the summer.They have been working hard so far, but the rest of the summer is up to them.

Let's keep the faith. Pat is a great coach they will be much improved.

utang1602#204610 writes:

in response to teampenny#658108:

She deserves all the honors that comes with success. She has set standards that know one else may ever reach. However, big time sports is about now and Pat would agree with that. We went through a rebuilding year with very little improvement toward the end of the season. We come back with the same team for the most part. It will be a great season if we can make the sweet sixteen. I believe we will be down until we get some new girls on the court. May need to shake up coaching staff. Time will tell. Go Vols

Several of the players who were on the court this past year will end their careers as All-Americans. You can mark that down. There hasn't ever been a Lady Vol team—for that matter very few in general—that have had such an underclassmen-laden roster. Without significant junior and senior leadership (Alex was wonderful, but she was only one player.), you have a bunch of freshmen trying to find their way off and on the court. Were you a well-adjusted, no worries college freshman? They struggled, but their talent and their desire to play should not be in question.

Take six true freshmen and one redshirt freshman and add to that key injuries to your point guard and your experienced post player and it isn't generally going to equal success.

A healthy Kelley Cain, minus the screws, Vicki Baugh in full force, and experienced players will make the Lady Vols a force. I have a feeling even Geno would admit that, since most all of the country's coaches and commentators have already said as much.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

Pat, perhaps, deserves the greatest feat of all... that is she built women's basketball in the SEC to the point that most any team in the league on a good night can beat any other in the SEC. Now, that's progress. It spread out from there nationwide. Tired of being a punching bag for the Volunteers, other SEC teams took heed of what Pat was doing and joined her in placing tough teams to beat on the floor. Women;s college basketball can thank her for that.

reachkim00 writes:

Price of a Lady Vol game ticket: $10

Price of the latest Lady Vol t-shirt: $17

Game day parking: $5

Cost of having Pat Summitt as the head coach of our Lady Vols: PRICELESS

The greatest there was, there is, and will ever be.. Coach Pat Summitt.

GO LADY VOLS!!! We love you Pat!!!!

ps11824 writes:

Thank you, bmaples, LVFF, reachkim. Unfortunately, so many who think they are learned fans want to make this article about a season and how much they think they know. This article is about a PROGRAM and a coach who will go down in history as THE BEST ever. Pat ALWAYS gives first credit to the program, just one of the reasons there will never be a comparison to any other coach or program. If she retired today, she could not be surpassed, as far as her achievements, sacrifices and dedication to college basketball.

Ralph, you are so right and you may include every conference in the nation, not just the SEC. Pat Summitt single-handedly hoisted Women's College Basketball to the level at which it stands today. There will always be throngs of chauvinist ant holes blowing off the credibility of women's sports, but on this Day of 1000 Stories, it is what it is. Pat Summitt and Lady Vol Hoops is, always has been and will always be a force to be reckoned with.

Teampenny, forget about your recounting and rebuilding ideas for now. This is not the forum for that. Give credit to the woman and the program she has built. Neither is this about the current 'coach of the year' the national champions or the AP Top 25; it is about an achievement of one coach and one program. The afore mentioned COY is simply a prerequisite to the degree of Pat Summitt's Day of 1000 Stories.

I would enjoy seeing the program that took place yesterday. My loss for sure not having been there.

reachkim00 writes:

in response to ps11824:

Thank you, bmaples, LVFF, reachkim. Unfortunately, so many who think they are learned fans want to make this article about a season and how much they think they know. This article is about a PROGRAM and a coach who will go down in history as THE BEST ever. Pat ALWAYS gives first credit to the program, just one of the reasons there will never be a comparison to any other coach or program. If she retired today, she could not be surpassed, as far as her achievements, sacrifices and dedication to college basketball.

Ralph, you are so right and you may include every conference in the nation, not just the SEC. Pat Summitt single-handedly hoisted Women's College Basketball to the level at which it stands today. There will always be throngs of chauvinist ant holes blowing off the credibility of women's sports, but on this Day of 1000 Stories, it is what it is. Pat Summitt and Lady Vol Hoops is, always has been and will always be a force to be reckoned with.

Teampenny, forget about your recounting and rebuilding ideas for now. This is not the forum for that. Give credit to the woman and the program she has built. Neither is this about the current 'coach of the year' the national champions or the AP Top 25; it is about an achievement of one coach and one program. The afore mentioned COY is simply a prerequisite to the degree of Pat Summitt's Day of 1000 Stories.

I would enjoy seeing the program that took place yesterday. My loss for sure not having been there.

Thank you 98! GO LADY VOLS and COACH SUMMITT!!!!!!!

ps11824 writes:

Joan Cronan said one of Summitt’s lasting achievements will be her effect on Title IX, the landmark federal legislation that opened up athletic opportunities for girls and women at institutions that received federal funds.

“There is not anybody that I know that has had a bigger impact on Title IX,” Cronan said. “This is more than about basketball wins.”

SidSpencerFan1 writes:

Does anyone know if Sidney Spencer was there?!?!?

ps11824 writes:

If she had been there, I think they would have mentioned her in the long article published on Smokey's Trail. It was an informative 'play-by-play' of the Day of 1000 Stories.

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to reachkim00:

Price of a Lady Vol game ticket: $10

Price of the latest Lady Vol t-shirt: $17

Game day parking: $5

Cost of having Pat Summitt as the head coach of our Lady Vols: PRICELESS

The greatest there was, there is, and will ever be.. Coach Pat Summitt.

GO LADY VOLS!!! We love you Pat!!!!

you said it all

gray#257104 writes:

I speak for the majority of UCONN fans of womens basketball when I say we have the utmost respect for Pat's excellence as a coach and more importantly as the architect of the still most storied program in womens basketball. However that being said, we also hope for a thaw in her resolve not to resume a Tennessee - UCONN match up in the regular season. Is there anyone who not love to see this in the future?

ps11824 writes:

Yes, gray, I am one, albeit I will never be a majority, I say that Pat Summitt chose to end the relationship for a very valid reason. She knew she would take the heat for it, but she is noble enough to 'endure persecution' for the integrity of the game. That reasoning came from Pat's own words in a recent interview with KNS reporters. (Be advised that is not a quote.)

I realize it is difficult for UConn fans to consider the 'intent to disparage the TN program, and the deliberate contretemps regarding NCAA rules of recruitment. Nevertheless, Pat Summitt chose to take a stand against invidious behavior from your head coach. I stand with her just as I would with anyone who is willing to take the narrow road and suffer the postulation of those who do not consider the truth of the matter.

Imagine what would become of the NCAA women's basketball program if coaches were allowed to bend the rules unfettered. Should a prominent figure turn a deaf ear to a colleague who goes on national TV to impugn her and her program?

Personally, I believe Pat Summitt has been very tolerant of your coach and has sought ways to gracefully parry his insinuations and insults for years. Now, she has taken a stand. She may resume the relationship with UConn when GA becomes a man. Once again, IMO, this will not happen.

As I've commented before, this article is about honoring Pat Summitt and the program she has built at Tennessee. TitleIX would not have been if not for the efforts of a young, brave pioneer like Pat to blaze a trail. We need only to read NCAA history of the sacrifices she was willing to make to grow this sport. Why mention UConn in this forum?

reachkim00 writes:

in response to ps11824:

Yes, gray, I am one, albeit I will never be a majority, I say that Pat Summitt chose to end the relationship for a very valid reason. She knew she would take the heat for it, but she is noble enough to 'endure persecution' for the integrity of the game. That reasoning came from Pat's own words in a recent interview with KNS reporters. (Be advised that is not a quote.)

I realize it is difficult for UConn fans to consider the 'intent to disparage the TN program, and the deliberate contretemps regarding NCAA rules of recruitment. Nevertheless, Pat Summitt chose to take a stand against invidious behavior from your head coach. I stand with her just as I would with anyone who is willing to take the narrow road and suffer the postulation of those who do not consider the truth of the matter.

Imagine what would become of the NCAA women's basketball program if coaches were allowed to bend the rules unfettered. Should a prominent figure turn a deaf ear to a colleague who goes on national TV to impugn her and her program?

Personally, I believe Pat Summitt has been very tolerant of your coach and has sought ways to gracefully parry his insinuations and insults for years. Now, she has taken a stand. She may resume the relationship with UConn when GA becomes a man. Once again, IMO, this will not happen.

As I've commented before, this article is about honoring Pat Summitt and the program she has built at Tennessee. TitleIX would not have been if not for the efforts of a young, brave pioneer like Pat to blaze a trail. We need only to read NCAA history of the sacrifices she was willing to make to grow this sport. Why mention UConn in this forum?

GREAT post 98, as always. GO LADY VOLS!!!!

ps11824 writes:

Mikey, you are such a pitiful specimen to come uninvited into a forum where you have absolutely nothing to contribute save hatred and disrespect. You are such a vile creature you cannot possibly lend credence to fact nor theory. You have not the gall to call Pat Summitt by her name. You use her maiden name not because you know her but because of your seething envious attraction to one who is a legitimate living legend; not that you could have anything in common with people of veracity and pulchritude.

As to her glass house, she serves it well, does she not? As to her effect on a narcissist cretin like yourself and your idol, GA, she does arouse a frisson of terror. For the suchlike I can understand your ilk. You have no recourse but to meddle into affairs of which you are blatantly nescient.

If she (Pat) is yesterday's news, what does that make you? One who cannot get enough of Lady Vol basketball news is what you are. Yesterday's news, today's and tomorrow's news will always be colored Orange, you unmeet serf. Even though you officiously claim a nefarious connection to the current national champions, you are so swift to care about A Day of 1000 Stories and offer a scintilla of affection by sharing your own succinct rendition of "Chicken Pat Loser." I'm sure she will cherish this one as well.

reachkim00 writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Trust me.. Nobody gives a damn about you Mikey. As classy of a lady that Pat Summitt is, she is still more man than you will ever be and more woman that you will ever get. You and Geno are gagging in the dust trail that you all follow behind her of acomplishments and National Championships. NO ONE can compare or even come close.. NO ONE.
GO LADY VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!

LadyVolFanForever writes:

in response to gray#257104:

I speak for the majority of UCONN fans of womens basketball when I say we have the utmost respect for Pat's excellence as a coach and more importantly as the architect of the still most storied program in womens basketball. However that being said, we also hope for a thaw in her resolve not to resume a Tennessee - UCONN match up in the regular season. Is there anyone who not love to see this in the future?

If TN and UCONN meet in the postseason fine but I don't care to go back to the regular season game. No need to hash out the reasons anymore as they have been hashed to death.

I wanted to reply to you gray because you seem to be a decent UCONN fan and I welcome decent fans of women's basketball whoever they support. Nice post, thank you.

ps11824 writes:

Those sorts of things are possibly more important to Milkey Mouse than we want to know...

BigRMan writes:

in response to SidSpencerFan1:

Does anyone know if Sidney Spencer was there?!?!?

Sidney Spencer just got traded to the New York Liberty

BigRMan writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You got no room to talk. I hear you're trying to sublet your cesspool so you can upgrade to an outhouse!

BigRMan writes:

in response to ps11824:

Mikey, you are such a pitiful specimen to come uninvited into a forum where you have absolutely nothing to contribute save hatred and disrespect. You are such a vile creature you cannot possibly lend credence to fact nor theory. You have not the gall to call Pat Summitt by her name. You use her maiden name not because you know her but because of your seething envious attraction to one who is a legitimate living legend; not that you could have anything in common with people of veracity and pulchritude.

As to her glass house, she serves it well, does she not? As to her effect on a narcissist cretin like yourself and your idol, GA, she does arouse a frisson of terror. For the suchlike I can understand your ilk. You have no recourse but to meddle into affairs of which you are blatantly nescient.

If she (Pat) is yesterday's news, what does that make you? One who cannot get enough of Lady Vol basketball news is what you are. Yesterday's news, today's and tomorrow's news will always be colored Orange, you unmeet serf. Even though you officiously claim a nefarious connection to the current national champions, you are so swift to care about A Day of 1000 Stories and offer a scintilla of affection by sharing your own succinct rendition of "Chicken Pat Loser." I'm sure she will cherish this one as well.

98: The way you can turn phrases, I am impressed. You should be a writer, write a book , a screenplay, sonnets, poetry anything. You are TRULY gifted in that respect.

old_number1 writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Please Mike, if you're going to on here, don't insult our intelligence! So what if We have the best bathroom?!! I'll talk to you all day long if it's relevant, but geesh, get a life!

old_number1 writes:

in response to old_number1:

Please Mike, if you're going to on here, don't insult our intelligence! So what if We have the best bathroom?!! I'll talk to you all day long if it's relevant, but geesh, get a life!

Sorry, meant to put 'post' in there.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to old_number1:

Please Mike, if you're going to on here, don't insult our intelligence! So what if We have the best bathroom?!! I'll talk to you all day long if it's relevant, but geesh, get a life!

That's funny; I can't remember Mike EVER posting anything relevant on here!

ps11824 writes:

I hear they took a pole on the uconn nation. At least we are in agreement on the outcome: Everyone is sick of milkey mouse's sycophancy.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

98 reah; You and I are on the same page every time, but it seems that Geno is now considered the top women's basketball coach. His quick, crispy passing teams may have passed Pat and the Lady Vols as the nation's superior team. What do you think? I hold your views in high esteem.

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