Tyler Summitt accepts coaching position at Marquette

Son says 'mom made the decision'

Tyler Summitt, son of Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, speaks to fans about the creation of the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund, during halftime of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011, in Knoxville, Tenn. The foundation was created to help fund research and raise awareness of Alzheimer's.

Photo by AP Photo / Wade Payne

Tyler Summitt, son of Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, speaks to fans about the creation of the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund, during halftime of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011, in Knoxville, Tenn. The foundation was created to help fund research and raise awareness of Alzheimer's.

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

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Comments » 25

Bubba_Knows writes:

Good luck to you Tyler. Mom has set the bar at the highest level. She will always be a legend on the Hill!

alwaysvol1 writes:

this is great news. Wish Tyler the best.

POTSVol (Inactive) writes:

Good luck Tyler. Hope to see you come back home to carry the Summitt legacy in the future.

pingkr62 writes:

Good luck Tyler. Everyone at Tennessee wishes you and your mother all the best. G.B.O.!!!

tnluv2play writes:

Tyler, you'll do a great job. We look forward to watching as you advance in your career. You have had a wonderful role model and we wish both of you the best in life.

sambad writes:

Mike. I think it would have been much smarter to have left the "clear mind" reference out of your headline.

manniesghost1903 writes:

Pat Summitt made a decision which I was sure she knew would be best for UT and the Woman's basketball program. Even with all the accolades she has received, Pat Summitt is still the most under-rated Coach in all of college basketball. She has accomplished more than any other male or female coach. None of the men's or women's coaches in college basketball have helped the USA win a gold medal in Olympic Basketball as a player/coach and yet men's basketball coach at Duke, whose name I can't spell, and the cheating women's coach at Connecticut seem to get more press and acclaim (to the point that it makes me sick to my stomach).

No other ethical coach will ever achieve the success which Pat Summitt attained (and against the top teams accross the country and the world).

Hopefully another Summitt will sitting in the Coaches seat for the Lady Vols at sometime in the future.

KNSsports (staff) writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are correct, RockyMountainVol, it was an unintentional faux pas. The headline and story have been updated.
Gregg Hampton
Assistant Sports Editor

Millisa writes:

Good Luck Tyler Hope someday you come back here to Tennnessee to coach

CoverOrange writes:

Lesson #1 as first year assistant coach, Tyler. Don't go around calling Geno "Geno."

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Lesson #1 as first year assistant coach, Tyler. Don't go around calling Geno "Geno."

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

MidTennVol writes:

What a cool story. Thanks, Griff, and thanks, Tyler. Bright future!

But have you developed your own Stare?

madrigal writes:

Good luck to Tyler. This is a really good start for him. I for one hope to see him back at UT sometime in the future.

RoadTrip writes:

This is good news and Marquette should be complimented on the class and good sense of hiring Tyler. Chart your own future Tyler. We hope it involves the LV's at some point, but if it doesn't we still want the best for you.

While you are at it make sure your team always beats UConn and Geno!

min32926#266113 writes:

Good luck Tyler!

ps11824 writes:

WOW! This is like living in a whirlwind. Bittersweet, for real. What an incredibly strong family.

Just to be clear, there's a guy who calls in to sports animal radio show, calls himself mike, let me just say 2 words to him; SHUT UP!

I believe he is the devil emeritus. If I were the power, I would ban him so quickly it would cause a worldwide blackout.

Brutus writes:

Best to you Tyler in all your endeavors. Thanks for being there for your Mother.

VolVox writes:

Good luck, Tyler. I don't think you'll need too much luck, though, because you were smart enough to listen when exposed to a lot of really good teachers. You are obviously well on your way to success on your own terms and in your own right.

ps11824 writes:

[[[ "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.'' ]]]

I love this quote. Could it be a double entendre? Perhaps Tyler believes he will come back to coach the Lady Vols to victory over 'u kno who' ... Would that not be so awesome, such poetic justice?

frblalack writes:

Good Luck Tyler! Next year my second favorite lady bball team will be the Marquette Warriors!

And by the way...if you could just figure out a way to stomp U...know who...wouldn't that be tooo much fun?

Big Orange for Life - All Vols - All the Time!

CoverOrange writes:

in response to mountainViews:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We can call him that all we want with no repercussions. But Tyler needs to learn and employ "coach-speak" if he wants remain in coaching.

Central_IL_Vol writes:

Best wishes to Tyler Summitt on his new journey!

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What a classless, knuckle-dragging comment. What's next...a woman belongs in the kitchen?

I think any parent would be proud to have a son like Tyler Summitt. Pat sure is. He seems focused on his future's path and I will enjoy tracking his career and success, which I am certain will be coming.

Those of us who have followed this team for decades have also had the privilege of watching Tyler grow up. How special for him to have the grown up on the inside of the greatest program in the history of the women's game!

...and he had all those big sisters!

Congratulations on the gig, Tyler. There's no advice we could give that would be better than what you've probably already heard at home. So, we will say good luck...and thanks for sharing your Mom with us. Come back and see us, OK?

volcraze writes:

We will be expecting you back in Knoxville in the not so distant future. Good Luck Tyler.

RememberWhen writes:

gee...talk about cashing in on the family name! whatever happened to EARNING your way?

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