Tyler Summitt couldn't help but note the irony.
"Mom announced she's stepping down today, and I announced I'm stepping in,'' said Tyler Summitt, who on Wednesday accepted a full-time assistant coaching position with the Marquette women's basketball team the same day his mother, Pat Summitt, announced she was stepping down as Lady Vols basketball coach. "I interviewed on Sunday and got offered, and I officially accepted the job today.
"I'm excited to be in the Big East. Mom quit playing Geno (Auriemma, coach at Connecticut); I guess I'll be forced to play him.''
Tyler Summitt, who was a walk-on for the UT men's basketball team the past two seasons, will leave Knoxville to begin his duties at Marquette on May 21 without any reservations. He said his mother is at peace with her decision after leading the Lady Vols to eight national championships and 1,098 victories during her 38 years at the helm.
Pat Summitt has accepted a head coach emeritus position at UT, which will allow her to be around the players in a non-coaching capacity.
"I'm happy she's going to be able to stay and be a mentor for the kids off the court, and be a role model for the entire program,'' said Tyler Summitt, who attended Webb School of Knoxville and is Summitt's only child. "She's going to be in a good place, and she's happy with the decision now.''
Tyler Summitt said there were trying times during the decision-making process the past few months, but those times were few, as Pat Summitt approached it in a calculated, rational fashion.
"I won't say it wasn't difficult, but my mom made the decision; it was completely up to her, and she came to terms with what she thought was best,'' he said. "She has always done what's best for the program.
"We said we were going to take time after the season before we decided anything, so we didn't rush into anything.''
Tyler Summitt said once his mother decided she was going to step down, there were still a few wrinkles to be ironed out.
"When she decided, that wasn't too long ago, but we had to come up with the exact role of what she would do,'' he said. "There were a lot of discussions with a lot of people.
"Mom and I both know Holly (Warlick) will do a wonderful job (as UT's new coach). The biggest thing is Mom wanted to mentor the players off the court, because she believes succeeding in life is ultimately more important than the success on the court, and she felt this was what was best for the program.''
Tyler Summitt spent his freshman year at Tennessee as a practice player for the Lady Vols. As a sophomore, he walked on to the men's team and played for former coach Bruce Pearl, and this past season, he played for the Vols under coach Cuonzo Martin.
Summitt said he has been taking coaching notes since he played under former Davidson assistant coach Landry Kosmalski at Webb.
"I got the experience of Davidson's system, my mom's system, Coach Pearl's and Coach Martin's, and now I'm making my own philosophy,'' Tyler Summitt said. "I kept a notebook, and now it's a computer program. Every high school play, Mom's plays, Coach Pearl's plays, Coach Martin's plays, every speech, everything I have been through.
"Now that Mom has made her decision, I'm comfortable with leaving,'' he said. "I'm 21, Mom got her head coaching job when she was 22. I guess I have a year to be a head coach.''
Tyler Summitt chuckled, "Nah, that probably won't happen.''
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32