No handbook for Holly Warlick's unusual role

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press
Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick signals to the players in the first half against Vanderbilt on Thursday in Nashville.

Photo by Mark Humphrey, AP2012

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick signals to the players in the first half against Vanderbilt on Thursday in Nashville.

Holly Warlick can't reach for a book or a manual. There are limits to the experience from which she draws.

So perhaps it stands to reason then that Tennessee's associate head coach couldn't foresee the Lady Vols' women's basketball season taking such a calamitous turn. In advance of its showdown with No. 7 Kentucky (21-3, 10-1 SEC) at Thompson-Boling Arena on Monday (TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m.), No. 11 Tennessee (17-7, 8-3) still is coming to grips with the latest broadside — a 93-79 thrashing at the hands of Vanderbilt on Thursday in Nashville.

"I never thought it would play out like this, not one bit'' Warlick said.

In the next breath, she added: "But you never imagine Pat getting a sickness either."

The reference was to UT head coach Pat Summitt, who announced last August that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type, but would continue coaching. As Summitt's right-hand woman, Warlick braced for a change in her role. Nearly six months later, Warlick concedes: "It's been a lot harder than I anticipated, but I'm OK."

Other than Summitt, no one on Tennessee's staff is more familiar with the program's history and traditions than Warlick. She was an All-American point guard from 1976-80 and has been an assistant coach since 1985. She's been through everything from 11-loss seasons to all eight national championships.

She has assumed more responsibility the past few seasons pertaining to practice, strategy and game management.

But nothing she's experienced in the past four decades could prepare her for the seismic shift in Summitt's situation this season. Incorporating such extraordinary circumstances into a daily

routine has been an undertaking for which there is no blueprint.

"There's not a leadership book that has been written (for this),'' Warlick said. "It's a day-to-day thing. Every day brings a daily challenge."

And one of the biggest might be the one thing that technically hasn't changed. Despite her diminished role, Summitt still is the head coach.

"I'm still working for Pat Summitt,'' Warlick said. "And I'm going to put forth my best effort to work for her. Hopefully things can stay afloat."

Before leaving UT in 2003 to become the head coach at Kentucky, Lady Vols assistant Mickie DeMoss sat in Warlick's chair as the associate head coach. She has reflected back to those days and wondered: "If all of a sudden Pat needed me to step up and be in the forefront, to be the face of the program, the voice of the program, would I have been ready for that?"

"It's almost like Holly's learning on the job," DeMoss said.

And the job changes on a regular basis.

"I know Holly has the utmost respect for Pat,'' DeMoss said. "She never wants to feel like she oversteps her boundaries, but she also has to feel like every ship has got to have a captain.

"I think that at times when Pat is more involved than others, then Holly probably has to pull back more. And then days when Pat is not as engaged, then she has to step up more. I think we all feel that to a certain degree but it falls a little harder on Holly's shoulders."

Despite Warlick's responsibilities, she said that the coaches have tried to make the shift in roles work with a team-like approach. DeMoss and fellow assistant Dean Lockwood both have been head coaches and have a combined 65 seasons of coaching experience.

"We're trying to make sure everyone has a voice, everyone has a say,'' Warlick said. "Pat still has her voice and it's still big. We're all in this."

Since the season's start, Warlick has had the biggest say as a spokesperson. She has handled media obligations on a regular basis, including all post-game interview sessions. Even after victories, she's occasionally looked as if she played in the game. The season's strain, however, has been more evident in the past month. Four times in that span, Warlick has had to answer for a loss.

At Notre Dame, she apologized for the team's play after a 72-44 rout. When the Lady Vols blew a seven-point lead in the final five minutes and were upset by South Carolina, 64-60, Warlick seemed bewildered and said, "We were just flat and I don't have an answer for it."

There was a hint of anger in her voice on Thursday as she detailed how Vanderbilt had trampled two of Tennessee's program staples, defense and rebounding.

As if that wasn't tough enough, Warlick also had to field an awkward question Thursday about Summitt's future, specifically whether she thought this was the last game Summitt will coach at Memorial Gymnasium.

"I don't think so," Warlick said. "I mean Pat is coaching. She still is coaching and she's going to continue to coach. So I hope it's not the last time and I have not heard if it is or isn't. She's still the head coach of this basketball team."

Warlick realizes how difficult the season has been on everyone involved. She empathizes with the players in acknowledging, "They're still kids." She lauds the ongoing support of the university administration by saying, "It's amazing how positive they've been."

And Monday night, no matter the degree of difficulty, Warlick will enter an interview room and offer further explanation about how this unusual season continues to play out.

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Comments » 47

FanInNevada writes:

As I have said in previous posts, the entire situation must be unbelievably stressful for the assistants, but especially for Holly and Mickie who have worked with her and been friends with her for decades. This is a personal stress as well as a professional stress, most of us don't have to deal with both at the same time - AND do it for all of the world to watch. I don't know if Holly is head coach material, but this year and any others that might also be like this one (coaching arrangement wise) should not be used to judge her future designation. If she aspires to be a head coach - in name and practice - then she should be given a chance and judged on that performance. For all I know she was perfectly happy in the number 2 role and felt that was her contribution to make to women's basketball. I also don't think Mickie and Dean should be judged by this season. We've all heard of the perfect storm, most of us don't ever have to experience it. This particular storm has been building for the past couple of years with this crop of players, injuries, leadership and of course Pat's illness. My feelings have kind of changed and I now agree with the many who feel that Pat should stay as long as she wants, and as long as she has assistants who are willing to make that possible for her. Whenever she retires and the program starts with a new coach and tradition - it might (likely will) be a rebuilding challenge. That's OK with me, after all I can't think of very many, or any, new coaches who've come into a winning situation right off the bat. They've had to build their own tradition. The possible successors named by many posters did not start out as "high value" coaches who have demonstrated a winning tradition. They earned that over several years. I absolutely support what Holly, Mickie and Dean are trying to do. Their agony is written all over their faces.

xvolx writes:

What do you mean "Pat still has a voice". She is suppose to still be the head coach. This is a coaching mess and needs to be fixed.

frblalack writes:

Excellent article! Holly Warlick is an OUTSTANDING representative of the Lady Vols and everything Lady Vol! When Coach Pat retires, the expectations would be enormous and unimaginable for anyone. We should rejoice in the GREATNESS afforded us, and realize those shoes are not easily filled. We have three coaches on our staff who would be FANTASTIC and successful in any collegiate program. Let us all be thankful for the class and fortitude our coaches have exhibited!

Love my Lady Vols - All Vols- All the Time!!!

ps Could we not show some confidence, love, and respect for Alicia, Glory & Cierra? Alicia Manning should be starting, given confidence not criticism by the coaches...and she'll probably play her heart out... diving for loose balls, rebounding, and giving her "all" for Tennessee. Our best SHOULD be rewarded!!! IMHO.

Go Big Orange!

gerryblack writes:

in response to FanInNevada:

As I have said in previous posts, the entire situation must be unbelievably stressful for the assistants, but especially for Holly and Mickie who have worked with her and been friends with her for decades. This is a personal stress as well as a professional stress, most of us don't have to deal with both at the same time - AND do it for all of the world to watch. I don't know if Holly is head coach material, but this year and any others that might also be like this one (coaching arrangement wise) should not be used to judge her future designation. If she aspires to be a head coach - in name and practice - then she should be given a chance and judged on that performance. For all I know she was perfectly happy in the number 2 role and felt that was her contribution to make to women's basketball. I also don't think Mickie and Dean should be judged by this season. We've all heard of the perfect storm, most of us don't ever have to experience it. This particular storm has been building for the past couple of years with this crop of players, injuries, leadership and of course Pat's illness. My feelings have kind of changed and I now agree with the many who feel that Pat should stay as long as she wants, and as long as she has assistants who are willing to make that possible for her. Whenever she retires and the program starts with a new coach and tradition - it might (likely will) be a rebuilding challenge. That's OK with me, after all I can't think of very many, or any, new coaches who've come into a winning situation right off the bat. They've had to build their own tradition. The possible successors named by many posters did not start out as "high value" coaches who have demonstrated a winning tradition. They earned that over several years. I absolutely support what Holly, Mickie and Dean are trying to do. Their agony is written all over their faces.

I certainly support what they are trying to do but the fact is they are just not getting the job done and not ready to be a head coach in the SEC or at least not at Tenn.

knoxdaniel#213742 writes:

...

knoxdaniel#213742 writes:

I don't know where to begin. This team is extremely lazy. It is like what happened, you can't coach effort, then you look at someone to motivate them, and no one seems that they can. It's like a double edge sword for Holly. What happened to all this talk about playing for Pat this season Ladies? Pat is UT and UT is Pat and you can't spell Summitt, without a UT. I hope this will be the last loss of the season at Vandy. Pat what you can do show it to your fans and show it to you the university. Lead us!

KCHS63 writes:

Yet another example of the reason "Comments" sections should be eliminated from newspaper articles.

frblalack writes:

in response to gerryblack:

I certainly support what they are trying to do but the fact is they are just not getting the job done and not ready to be a head coach in the SEC or at least not at Tenn.

Your opinion is just that: your opinion! It is really unfair to be so judgmental given the circumstances. We may not win the SEC or another game, but you are ABSOLUTELY wrong to condemn our coaches. I suspect that when the reins are finally relinquished...whenever that may be...you will see a renewed fire and resolve in the way Holly Warlick played her guts out for Tennessee or the way Micki DeMoss has outcoached her competitors for over twenty years! Mr. Lockwood has proved his mettle on the Lady Vols staff!

Short sightedness, near sightedness, or maybe just plain blindness to the truth/reality of our situation is obvious in your comments. To say our coaches aren't up to the task is just plain ignorance! Get your head out of the sand! Please! It's a slight bit more complicated than you apparently are aware...Support the Lady Vols or Get Lost!!!!!!

AHOUSE writes:

It is obvious that the present situation is not working or going to work or things would have already stabilize . As sad as it is,dire plans should already be underway.
The girls are in trouble mentally it appears, and apparently nobody has been able to help them out. They are still just kids. Hopefully someone has the right solution soon.

frblalack writes:

in response to AHOUSE:

It is obvious that the present situation is not working or going to work or things would have already stabilize . As sad as it is,dire plans should already be underway.
The girls are in trouble mentally it appears, and apparently nobody has been able to help them out. They are still just kids. Hopefully someone has the right solution soon.

Our Lady Vols have been subjected to so much criticism; it's hard to comprehend the complete insensitivity to theirs/and our coaches' situation.

Please be patient! Love your Lady Vols!

flatrock writes:

I feel for Holly, Mickie and, of course, Pat. I mostly feel for the players, who are caught in an emotional free fall. Note to the idiots who post on here about the effort of this year's players: there is no such thing as a lazy Lady Vol, even in this fragile environment. Pat's players work harder in a day than most individuals on here work in a month. I contend that this team is forced into playing a style that does not fit the talents. Net result: they are playing confused, frustrated and with absolutely no confidence. Unless someone can get Pat to allow the staff to move this team away from the beloved up-tempo defense and offense- and into a more half-court approach - this team is headed for more heartbreak. Support the players, Lady Vol fans. They are in a terrible situation.

stumpyb writes:

well I feel that Dave Hart has already put feelers out to some coaches to gauge their interest in coaching here. I would love to see Kim Mulky or Muffett McGraw come here but we will have to break the bank to get them. If either Holly or Micki are named new coach recruiting goes in the dump. We can forget Mercedes or any top recruits coming here.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to frblalack:

Your opinion is just that: your opinion! It is really unfair to be so judgmental given the circumstances. We may not win the SEC or another game, but you are ABSOLUTELY wrong to condemn our coaches. I suspect that when the reins are finally relinquished...whenever that may be...you will see a renewed fire and resolve in the way Holly Warlick played her guts out for Tennessee or the way Micki DeMoss has outcoached her competitors for over twenty years! Mr. Lockwood has proved his mettle on the Lady Vols staff!

Short sightedness, near sightedness, or maybe just plain blindness to the truth/reality of our situation is obvious in your comments. To say our coaches aren't up to the task is just plain ignorance! Get your head out of the sand! Please! It's a slight bit more complicated than you apparently are aware...Support the Lady Vols or Get Lost!!!!!!

Thank you.

volleyreb writes:

We all love pat and what she has done. Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno both overstayed their time at their respective schools. Florida State and Penn State programs suffered through those great coaches last few years. All of us questioned why are they were staying on. Their minds were there, but their bodies were ageing. Let's honor Pat in other ways, but it is getting to be disrepectiveful to her, the lady vols and the university of tennessee to allow this situation to continue. Pray for Pat... Allow her to move on with dignity.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to FanInNevada:

As I have said in previous posts, the entire situation must be unbelievably stressful for the assistants, but especially for Holly and Mickie who have worked with her and been friends with her for decades. This is a personal stress as well as a professional stress, most of us don't have to deal with both at the same time - AND do it for all of the world to watch. I don't know if Holly is head coach material, but this year and any others that might also be like this one (coaching arrangement wise) should not be used to judge her future designation. If she aspires to be a head coach - in name and practice - then she should be given a chance and judged on that performance. For all I know she was perfectly happy in the number 2 role and felt that was her contribution to make to women's basketball. I also don't think Mickie and Dean should be judged by this season. We've all heard of the perfect storm, most of us don't ever have to experience it. This particular storm has been building for the past couple of years with this crop of players, injuries, leadership and of course Pat's illness. My feelings have kind of changed and I now agree with the many who feel that Pat should stay as long as she wants, and as long as she has assistants who are willing to make that possible for her. Whenever she retires and the program starts with a new coach and tradition - it might (likely will) be a rebuilding challenge. That's OK with me, after all I can't think of very many, or any, new coaches who've come into a winning situation right off the bat. They've had to build their own tradition. The possible successors named by many posters did not start out as "high value" coaches who have demonstrated a winning tradition. They earned that over several years. I absolutely support what Holly, Mickie and Dean are trying to do. Their agony is written all over their faces.

Extremely intelligent post.

That said, the best thing this team can do for their coaches and their university is just win, baby.

It's time for a serious gut-check by this team. Is this really the legacy you want to leave in Knoxville? Is this really how you respond in the face of adversity? That's not what your coach believes and it's not who we are. Time is short, ladies. What will you do?

volnsc writes:

in response to volleyreb:

We all love pat and what she has done. Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno both overstayed their time at their respective schools. Florida State and Penn State programs suffered through those great coaches last few years. All of us questioned why are they were staying on. Their minds were there, but their bodies were ageing. Let's honor Pat in other ways, but it is getting to be disrepectiveful to her, the lady vols and the university of tennessee to allow this situation to continue. Pray for Pat... Allow her to move on with dignity.

Well said. Everyone must remember that Pat's illness may prevent her from making a timely decision. God bless her.

Ulysses writes:

This whole situation is just so sad. More than anything I want Coach Summitt to be remembered as the best basketball coach ever, not for her illness.
Her coaching staff deserves our support and prayers.

huntined#565710 writes:

Holly write that book or manual when the season is over so some other Coach will have it when they hit this in their career.None of us were ready for this as we never really thought PAT'S illness would be like this especially this soon. So all we can do is be a FAN and pray for her and the Asst Coaches and PLAYERS. Her illness hits the whole FAMILY OF LADY VOLS just like it does in every family where this illness hits all members are hurt by it. Believe it or not but there are more important things in life then a basketball game.

OldVols68 writes:

I have to admit after reading this article that Holly needs to be the next head coach of the Lady Vols. Pat should be honored and respected, but it just isn't fair to put the assistants through this. Whether Holly is eventually successful or not is not pertinent as to the decision to give her a shot -- she has given her life to this program and is very much reponsible in part for the success of it.

Unfortunately the university needs to make the hard decision sooner than later. I love and adore Pat for what she means and her accomplishments but reality has to be faced.

RLL59 writes:

in response to flatrock:

I feel for Holly, Mickie and, of course, Pat. I mostly feel for the players, who are caught in an emotional free fall. Note to the idiots who post on here about the effort of this year's players: there is no such thing as a lazy Lady Vol, even in this fragile environment. Pat's players work harder in a day than most individuals on here work in a month. I contend that this team is forced into playing a style that does not fit the talents. Net result: they are playing confused, frustrated and with absolutely no confidence. Unless someone can get Pat to allow the staff to move this team away from the beloved up-tempo defense and offense- and into a more half-court approach - this team is headed for more heartbreak. Support the players, Lady Vol fans. They are in a terrible situation.

Well said! Posters here comment as if this year is somehow different than the last three. It's not. They're still blaming the class of 2008 and conveniently forgetting that there are four other recruiting classes represented on this year's team. Perhaps the effects of Coach Summitt's illness began years ago, I don't know. But the assistant coaches in reality are handcuffed to the current philosophy and strategies. Does anyone believe that Holly, even if she wanted to, could make the changes necessary while Coach Summitt remains in charge? Does anyone really believe that if the coaching decisions aren't changed, next season, or the next, will be any different than this year? Or that next year's recruits will be different from those of the past 5 years?

clvolfan writes:

God bless Holly,it's a tough situation,and from her comments in this article,she certainly realizes it.The one that struck home was"when Pat steps back,she hast to step up,but she has to step back when pat steps up".
Probably a situation that no coach has been in before.

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

in response to kiffinsux:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

exactly

ModelMaker writes:

The only thing that we should be focusing on is what's best for the Lady Vols and nothing else, or there won't be any more Lady Vols. You have to prioritize. I think Holy is a good coach, she know's her X&0's as do the other coaches. If they didn't Pat would not have hired them. But you can only take this seniority thing and loyality thing so far. What you have now is something that is not working. You have got to make a change for the sake of the team, or your going to continue to get what you have been getting. I think a change needs to be made as to who has the most responsibility on this coaching staff. I think Micky DeMoss needs to have that responsibility. She has head coaching experience and I think she did a good job at Kentucky. I don't think she wants to be a Head Coach or she would not have left Kentucky but I think she could get us through this mess we are in. I think its our only chance to salvage what's left of the season. I think these kid's deserve our best shot; we are asking them to give us their best shot.

Millisa writes:

in response to knoxdaniel#213742:

I don't know where to begin. This team is extremely lazy. It is like what happened, you can't coach effort, then you look at someone to motivate them, and no one seems that they can. It's like a double edge sword for Holly. What happened to all this talk about playing for Pat this season Ladies? Pat is UT and UT is Pat and you can't spell Summitt, without a UT. I hope this will be the last loss of the season at Vandy. Pat what you can do show it to your fans and show it to you the university. Lead us!

I agree this Team has got to get it together no sense in this at all. Johnson Simmons and Burdick cant do it all the others on the team have to step up.

volaholic45 writes:

Warlick is in an impossible situation - responsibility without authority. It has been tried many times in many lines of work. It never has worked yet.

RLL59 writes:

in response to kiffinsux:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Here's what you said just yesterday.
"How many other judgement mistakes were made by this coaching staff?
The players have failed this team except Glory, but the coaches are ultimately responsible for this train wreck!".

Which is it? I'll concede that you're consistent on trashing the players.

In fact, the coaches are responsible for the overguarding defense that lets the opponent blow by the defender. You're either quicker than your opponent or you're not. You can't simply will it to be. When an opponent has one or two good players, it's the coaches' responsibility to design a defense for that game that reflects the limitations of the opponent. Coaches also design the offense, which, when it's totally inadequate for the players you have, results in turnovers, standing around, and poor shooting. Again, it's just not logical that all but one of the past 5 years' recruits get worse as their career progresses and that year after year there is no team development. The players bear some responsibility as well, but something is missing in the strategy, teaching and guidance elements of the game.

CrankE writes:

"I know Holly has the utmost respect for Pat," DeMoss said. "She never wants to feel like she oversteps her boundaries, but she also has to feel like every ship has got to have a captain."

---
Isn't one principle of leadership that there can be one (AND ONLY ONE) captain? So how is it working out to have 2 captains?

When there's confusion over who is in charge, there is confusion on the team. And it manifests itself on the court. That's exactly what we're witnessing. Why is that so hard to believe?

So which chapter is "Dodge accountability for coaching mistakes by throwing players under the bus"? Warlick and Summitt both seemed to hit that one pretty well after the Vanderbilt loss. Didn't they recruit these players? Are they uncoachable? Is this really all on the players with no slip in coaching.

Players play the way they are coached to play. Nobody has a problem believing this when times are good, so why is it so hard to believe that it's still true when losses pile up?

It's time.

r2d2 writes:

in response to RLL59:

Here's what you said just yesterday.
"How many other judgement mistakes were made by this coaching staff?
The players have failed this team except Glory, but the coaches are ultimately responsible for this train wreck!".

Which is it? I'll concede that you're consistent on trashing the players.

In fact, the coaches are responsible for the overguarding defense that lets the opponent blow by the defender. You're either quicker than your opponent or you're not. You can't simply will it to be. When an opponent has one or two good players, it's the coaches' responsibility to design a defense for that game that reflects the limitations of the opponent. Coaches also design the offense, which, when it's totally inadequate for the players you have, results in turnovers, standing around, and poor shooting. Again, it's just not logical that all but one of the past 5 years' recruits get worse as their career progresses and that year after year there is no team development. The players bear some responsibility as well, but something is missing in the strategy, teaching and guidance elements of the game.

You are absolutely correct RLL59. Most of the posts are calling the LVs lazy and uninspired. This not true. It is the coaching or lack of coaching. I wish CPS had all of her mental faculties. You would see what she could do with this team.

TopperHarry writes:

Come on lets stop bashing the young ladies. They still have the same abilities. They must have a coach that they can look to. They look past Holly for their coach. They need someone to build a fire under them. Ask Catchings to come to the rescue.. Maybe(, FARRRROOOOUUUT) Bruce might help someone he admires. I had rather see a lifesize poster of Pat ,arms folded, eyes staring and maybe Holly standing behind it moving it in the coaches box than Pat seating in her chair not knowing what is going on.I hate seeing all the camera shots that the sport stations show of Pat during the game.Come on Lady Vols you can still do it.

r2d2 writes:

in response to TopperHarry:

Come on lets stop bashing the young ladies. They still have the same abilities. They must have a coach that they can look to. They look past Holly for their coach. They need someone to build a fire under them. Ask Catchings to come to the rescue.. Maybe(, FARRRROOOOUUUT) Bruce might help someone he admires. I had rather see a lifesize poster of Pat ,arms folded, eyes staring and maybe Holly standing behind it moving it in the coaches box than Pat seating in her chair not knowing what is going on.I hate seeing all the camera shots that the sport stations show of Pat during the game.Come on Lady Vols you can still do it.

I agree. Tamika Catchings would be an excellent choice to succeed Pat.

BolivrBob writes:

in response to gerryblack:

I certainly support what they are trying to do but the fact is they are just not getting the job done and not ready to be a head coach in the SEC or at least not at Tenn.

This is a senior class and we are barely mediocre good. Holly , Michie and Dean are fine in subordinate roles but they are not head coaches as we see, as more responsibility goes to them. Should have brought in Nikki Caldwell last hear before she went to LSU, with the understanding she would succeed Pat. Hope it's not too late.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to ModelMaker:

The only thing that we should be focusing on is what's best for the Lady Vols and nothing else, or there won't be any more Lady Vols. You have to prioritize. I think Holy is a good coach, she know's her X&0's as do the other coaches. If they didn't Pat would not have hired them. But you can only take this seniority thing and loyality thing so far. What you have now is something that is not working. You have got to make a change for the sake of the team, or your going to continue to get what you have been getting. I think a change needs to be made as to who has the most responsibility on this coaching staff. I think Micky DeMoss needs to have that responsibility. She has head coaching experience and I think she did a good job at Kentucky. I don't think she wants to be a Head Coach or she would not have left Kentucky but I think she could get us through this mess we are in. I think its our only chance to salvage what's left of the season. I think these kid's deserve our best shot; we are asking them to give us their best shot.

"or there won't be any more Lady Vols".
I swear that everytime I think I have read the worst comment ever, suprise.You really believe that if we lose more games than usual that there will be no Lady Vols. Good god, really?

Clarkrm0706 writes:

Sometimes I wish that I was not a "real fan".
Reading some of these comments would make the average person root agianst TN, just for the heartless, all business b.s. you people represent.
However, I remember that "tradition" and "history" didn't mean winning every game, it meant something much deeper. I would try to explain it to the kns posters but it would be time spent without any real chance at success.

jt45 writes:

in response to RLL59:

Here's what you said just yesterday.
"How many other judgement mistakes were made by this coaching staff?
The players have failed this team except Glory, but the coaches are ultimately responsible for this train wreck!".

Which is it? I'll concede that you're consistent on trashing the players.

In fact, the coaches are responsible for the overguarding defense that lets the opponent blow by the defender. You're either quicker than your opponent or you're not. You can't simply will it to be. When an opponent has one or two good players, it's the coaches' responsibility to design a defense for that game that reflects the limitations of the opponent. Coaches also design the offense, which, when it's totally inadequate for the players you have, results in turnovers, standing around, and poor shooting. Again, it's just not logical that all but one of the past 5 years' recruits get worse as their career progresses and that year after year there is no team development. The players bear some responsibility as well, but something is missing in the strategy, teaching and guidance elements of the game.

Spot on post and saved me the time of typing it. I totally agree that their seems to be a level of coaching missing when compared to some of the better teams the LVs have played this year. You cant teach talent but you can teach execution. After watching the ND game it was pretty easy to see that they play execution offense and had the fundamentals down while the LVs seem lost and without a plan. Constant substitutions and a lack of confidence by the coaching committee has the LVs so far off their game that their getting beat by teams with much less talent. It's a bad situation that will not improve until one leader takes 5 starters and teaches them to execute and play as a team. I dont know if holly can pull that off, she has had plenty of chances to try and run this team, but the execution part isn't there and I for one hope that a skilled head coach with a proven track record will someday be be brought to UT to get them back on track, until then I will continue to support them, they need it more than ever considering what they have faced this year.

butch31 writes:

Interesting fact, unranked West Virginia can walk into Notre Dame and win, but ranked UT can't...

wagee12 writes:

Oh, oh, poor,poor Warlick, bless her heart. Isn't she the highest paid assistant in women's basketball? Dave Hart needs to clean house when Pat officially retires at the end of this "lost" season. Poster above had it right, need to go after an established, veteran coach with a high national profile. Warlick is obviously not the answer and she needs to find another job as a head coach at a NAIA school or a junior college.

jt45 writes:

Kiffinsux you hit a new low with this sentence in the post above!
"the lack of respect for Coach Summitt's condition by the players."

So I ask you, have you come to this BS conclusion
through some exclusive inside info ? A magic ball maybe ? Maybe your just a mind reader, but more likely just more of your tabloid nonesense. Is that you Climer? Your post and username have alot in common.

ModelMaker writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

"or there won't be any more Lady Vols".
I swear that everytime I think I have read the worst comment ever, suprise.You really believe that if we lose more games than usual that there will be no Lady Vols. Good god, really?

Oh I am sorry. Yes there would still be Lady Vols but the only ones left would be the ones that meet your standards. I bet you are a jack of all trades that does everything so so and nothing well. The difference between you and me is standards. If you don't have high standards how do you expect to do well at anything.

frblalack writes:

in response to wagee12:

Oh, oh, poor,poor Warlick, bless her heart. Isn't she the highest paid assistant in women's basketball? Dave Hart needs to clean house when Pat officially retires at the end of this "lost" season. Poster above had it right, need to go after an established, veteran coach with a high national profile. Warlick is obviously not the answer and she needs to find another job as a head coach at a NAIA school or a junior college.

Once again...another know-it-all! YOU have NO idea what our coaches could do under different circumstances! Under the current scenario, the job of motivating the players and getting the expected execution of performance JUST COULD BE a formidable task! Maybe impossible given the sensitive nature of our beloved Pat's illness. I suspect you've no experience coaching or dealing with the horrific sadness of dementia.

My heart goes out to our coaches, players, and University. Support your Lady Vols, Coaches, and University NOW! Your criticism and short-sightedness speak volumes about your character or lack therof.

All Vols - Vols Forever - Love My Lady Vols!

FanNotSheep writes:

I don't see enough Lady Vols games from start to finish to even pretend to know what should happen, but a family member who loves women's basketball and knows the game says coaching is the problem at UT -- and that the decline really started showing last season.

I don't see how this situation could be more difficult. No one wants to force Pat to step down but I think most people hope she does after this season. If Bobby Knight, Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden had retired sooner each one would have been spared different levels of humiliation. No one, not even Geno, wants Pat to go out in an embarrassing fashion.

The sooner the transition to Warlick is complete, the sooner we know if she is anywhere near the coach Pat has been. One thing is certain, she is a courageous orange-blooded Lady Vol to even try to follow in those footsteps. I wish them all the best, and hope they can work something out soon, so the program remains relevant -- and attractive to top level high school players.

newportvol writes:

Holly will be the next head coach.. She has earned the right and she bleeds orange.. This will happen.. Just wait and see..

CP3isGR8 writes:

in response to RLL59:

Here's what you said just yesterday.
"How many other judgement mistakes were made by this coaching staff?
The players have failed this team except Glory, but the coaches are ultimately responsible for this train wreck!".

Which is it? I'll concede that you're consistent on trashing the players.

In fact, the coaches are responsible for the overguarding defense that lets the opponent blow by the defender. You're either quicker than your opponent or you're not. You can't simply will it to be. When an opponent has one or two good players, it's the coaches' responsibility to design a defense for that game that reflects the limitations of the opponent. Coaches also design the offense, which, when it's totally inadequate for the players you have, results in turnovers, standing around, and poor shooting. Again, it's just not logical that all but one of the past 5 years' recruits get worse as their career progresses and that year after year there is no team development. The players bear some responsibility as well, but something is missing in the strategy, teaching and guidance elements of the game.

Very good points. I think the lack of player development goes back much further than 5 years. Semeka Randall had her best year as a freshman & got no better. Bjorkland was great as a freshman & was pitiful as a senior.
We have a bunch of athletes, but very few basketball players. The game has evolved to the point where depending on offensive rebounds because of poor shooters is no longer getting it done.

gerryblack writes:

in response to newportvol:

Holly will be the next head coach.. She has earned the right and she bleeds orange.. This will happen.. Just wait and see..

A lot of people bleed orange but that doesn't give them the right to be head coach. True she deserves the utmost respect but she's just not getting the job done on the court. There are hundreds of good assistant coaches that never get the head job and she is one of them. Now if the girls make a complete turn around I would certainly reconsider. We need someone who could be just as loyal with head coaching experience and they are out there. John Chavis earned the right to be head football coach but he didn't get it and neither will Holly. Book it.

dj54 writes:

she should NOT need a handbook, but there is no sub for PAT!!

g-man writes:

in response to frblalack:

Your opinion is just that: your opinion! It is really unfair to be so judgmental given the circumstances. We may not win the SEC or another game, but you are ABSOLUTELY wrong to condemn our coaches. I suspect that when the reins are finally relinquished...whenever that may be...you will see a renewed fire and resolve in the way Holly Warlick played her guts out for Tennessee or the way Micki DeMoss has outcoached her competitors for over twenty years! Mr. Lockwood has proved his mettle on the Lady Vols staff!

Short sightedness, near sightedness, or maybe just plain blindness to the truth/reality of our situation is obvious in your comments. To say our coaches aren't up to the task is just plain ignorance! Get your head out of the sand! Please! It's a slight bit more complicated than you apparently are aware...Support the Lady Vols or Get Lost!!!!!!

coaches are clueless, the worst

VolAtUGA11 writes:

These coaches have given most of their lives to their program, to the University of Tennessee.

They've been mentors to hundreds of student-athletes, worked long days and nights for decades, have always run a very respected program, and have led many national champions.

The coaches have earned the ability to decide what's right for the future of the program, not we as fans. This is one of the best programs in the history of college sports and you're tearing it down after one mediocre season like some impatient CEO.

I am honestly disgusted at some of the comments on this site.

kazoo writes:

The bottom line is that the coaching situation is not good, and if it continues then this program, which has already been sliding for a few years, will fall into a worse place. The right thing for PS to do is retire--it would be good for her and the program she built. What, at this point, would be the purpose of hanging on? Paterno coached for 10-15 years longer than he should have--and he only looked selfish and ridiculous, and then we saw what happened. When you coach too long, the principle of diminishing returns kicks in, and we've seen that with UT for a while--even before her illness was recognized. As for this team, there are a couple of key players who do not bring it on defense every play--it's pretty obvious.

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