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."