Holly Warlick on Pat Summitt: All indications to me are she's going to be back

Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick, left, and head coach Pat Summitt pace the floor during the game against Baylor in the final round of the Des Moines regional of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA on Monday, March 26, 2012. 

(SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, copyright © 2012

Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick, left, and head coach Pat Summitt pace the floor during the game against Baylor in the final round of the Des Moines regional of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA on Monday, March 26, 2012. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Pat Summitt's coaching future has been a topic of discussion just about everywhere except Tennessee's coaching staff meetings.

Until now.

Lady Vols associate head coach Holly Warlick expects Summitt to broach the subject with her assistants now that UT's women's basketball season is complete. Summitt just finished her 38th season as coach of the Lady Vols. It was the first, however, in terms of her battle with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

"I think she will ask for our input,'' associate head coach Holly Warlick said on Wednesday. "I don't know where she's going with it, I really don't. But I think she'll ask us. That will be a conversation we'll have with her."

Warlick said that she doesn't expect the staff to meet as a whole until at least next week. Warlick will attend this weekend's Final Four in Denver. She has meetings to attend as a Women's Basketball Coaches Association board member.

Warlick said that Summitt also will attend and be honored along with other Olympic coaches between Sunday night's semifinal games.

Throughout the season, Warlick said that she expects Summitt to return next season and she's not altering her view.

"All indications to me are she's going to be back," Warlick said. "That's my thoughts. That's not her telling me one thing or another."

Whatever Summitt decides, Warlick thinks that Summitt's son, Tyler, will play an important role in the process.

"She'll have a lot of guidance from Tyler,'' Warlick said. "I think Tyler is going to be good for her in terms of what she wants."

In the meantime, Warlick was meeting with Tennessee's returning players on Wednesday. She said that offseason workouts will start next week. Since there are only six returnees, the work likely will be individual in nature.

As for recruiting, Tennessee hopes to sign junior college prospects Wilka Montout and Uju Ugoka during next month's signing period to fortify its post game.

While Warlick can't speak about specific recruits, she did address UT's recruiting as it pertains to Summitt's future.

"Nobody has said: 'I'm not going to decide until I find out what Summitt's doing,' '' Warlick said. "But I'm sure it's in the back of their minds."

Dan Fleser may be reached at 865-342-6288. Follow him at http://twitter.com/FleserKNS and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/fleser

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Comments » 65

VolnPickwick writes:

I sure hope she returns for another season.

RoyaltyVol writes:

I love Pat and wish her the best, but I think she needs to step down. Its obvious Holly was running the show in the NCAA tourney. Pat needs to go out with dignity and what I watched against Baylor was a very subdued Pat. I hope Pat will retire and spend some quality time with her family while she does have good health. She has already achieved more at UT than anyone could ever have asked for, now she needs to do something for herself and her family and retire. Whatever Pat decides, I'll support her 100% though.

arkyvol writes:

hope she comes back for another year? why? to see her reputation further diminished? to give some wanna-be coach a chance to say he or she beat the great pat summitt? no, thanks. i respect her too much to want to see that. i hope she hangs 'em up and goes out in dignity.

boonhower writes:

I don't envy Dave Hart. If she wants to stay, the thought that the University will be spending close to $2 million for a coach with Alzheimer's will have to cross his mind. Hopefully, he realizes that he'll just have to tick a lock and wish her luck next season. She's earned the right to make her own exit. I just hope that if she does stay, it is because she can still offer something and not just because she's so competitive that she can't give it up. Such a sad situation.

FearlessFreep writes:

Letting go is the hardest thing for a coach to do. Time and time again we see coaches who stay past the time for them to go.

I sincerely hope Pat doesn't make that mistake, though it appears as though she will. If you thought this year was sad, wait until next year.

Caspian writes:

in response to arkyvol:

hope she comes back for another year? why? to see her reputation further diminished? to give some wanna-be coach a chance to say he or she beat the great pat summitt? no, thanks. i respect her too much to want to see that. i hope she hangs 'em up and goes out in dignity.

I agree. There's nothing she stands to gain, and much to lose. Like the old show business saying, "always leave them wanting more." I hope she takes the initiative with this situation and decides to go out with dignity.

I don't think you can read too much into Holly's comments. If pressed for a response, that's the only thing she can really say at this point.

underthehill writes:

in response to gerrybla:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I saw no indication this year that Holly is capable of being head coach at UT and yes she did have an opportunity to do that..I hope Pat remains as a consultant and recruiting advisor and UT hires Caldwell or Harper..Leaving Pat in a job she cannot do is not best for Pat, the players, or other coaches.

1voiceofreason writes:

I wish the best for Pat and appreciate all she has done for UT. I really hoped the girls would play well and send her out a champion. That is not going to happen anytime soon. Our talent gap is obvious and recruiting is not going to improve with Pat on limited duty and with an obvious interim coach in Warlick keeping the seat warm for a permanent replacement. Lastly, during the Baylor game, it pained me to see Pat looking lost and either not knowing how or not wanting to push Warlick to the side. There can only be one head coach. If Pat isnt up to ALL the duties of a head coach, it's time to wish her the best and move on. Otherwise, the program she painstakenly built is going to fall.

CrankE writes:

Show me a team with two head coaches and I'll show you a team without one head coach.

This will not get better.

It's time.

kazoo writes:

in response to VolnPickwick:

I sure hope she returns for another season.

Why? So she can sit on the bench and look befuddled on national TV? I fail to see the point of that. So we can watch top recruits go to other schools? So we can watch Uconn raise another banner? She didn't coach the team this year--and of course won't coach the team next year. She'll be with the team--but she could resign and still be around the program. Coming back, when she can't coach, would not be a good thing, even if the diehards think that PS can do what she wants. And what does Tyler have to do it? Next year will be a repeat of this year, only worse.

HATEaBAMA writes:

I began to get concerned for the program several years ago when Pat said something about the character and drive of the incoming players being in decline. While I don't doubt that is true as we see in the increasing lack of same in the video game/ipod kids of much of today's youth, it hasn't seem to hurt the top 4 or 5 programs with which we are no longer competitive. Dave Hart has a big problem--spend 2-3 million on a top women's bb coach to get back to the upper group, knowing he may have to spend twice that soon on football, or let the program decline further and risk losing a good sized fan base, maybe permanently. I'm betting he promotes Warlick till he decides on Dooley then makes his decision.

murrayvol writes:

It's pointless to try and read the tea leaves now. Pat knew this was coming and how bad it could be.

Very soon she'll sit down with those closest to her and ask for their best advice. I believe she will listen.

Goodvol_1 writes:

Pat has always done what is best for the University of Tennessee and also women's basketball. I believe her decision will be made with those same factors in mind. Tyler will not let his mother look bad on the sidelines. He will have her best interest at heart.

I support her decision either way. I don't think any one of us has the information we need to make a definite "right" decision. So, I will let Tyler, Pat, and the University make the decision and I will stand behind it.

This is a tough situation. I'm struggling with it. I've watched the Lady Vols play since 1981. I remember sitting under the basket in fold-out chairs with 150-200 fans in the stand. It was almost like a cult following. I loved it. Pat was always the one stable thing you could always depend on. To say this saddens me is quite an understatement. I can't imagine how Tyler and even the other coaches are feeling. I'll keep praying for full recovery. That's all I can do besides support my Lady Vols.

SummerfieldVol writes:

Most competive athletic do not know when to quit or retire. Boxers are a prime example, there mind still say they can do it but the body say no you can't. Coaches don't know when to leave because they think they still have something to offer, still want to show how it should be done. I am like some others that think Pat should retire and enjoy life and her family and not go out on a losing season. She has had a very good run now step aside and let someone else take the reins from here. Just my 2 ct worth.

movinonup writes:

It's time - I think the look on her face as she was leaving court was one of "this is it". Could not help but notice Tyler's expression also - pretty much said the same thing.

There is not a National Championship in the works for next year as we thought it could have possibly been this year so with another great season and another SEC Championship, it is time, sadly.

bigfan865 writes:

Holly's coaching ability can not be judged on this year. The tears she shed after the Baylor game were tears of pure emotional and physical exhaustion. She has been doing a balancing act that none of us can begin to understand. Step up and be the head coach, step back and be an assistant. In addition she is watching her best friend slip away right before her eyes. I know how my job was affected when my mom had cancer, and I didn't even live in the same town with her. I can't imagine how tough it would have been if I was seeing it everyday for hours on end. And cancer wasn't as bad as what Pat's facing because with Pat her mind and personality are changing. I commend Holly as well as Micki and Dean for doing a great job under tough circumstances. I think Holly deserves a shot at truly running things when Pat does leave. Only then can we judge her coaching ability.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to kazoo:

Why? So she can sit on the bench and look befuddled on national TV? I fail to see the point of that. So we can watch top recruits go to other schools? So we can watch Uconn raise another banner? She didn't coach the team this year--and of course won't coach the team next year. She'll be with the team--but she could resign and still be around the program. Coming back, when she can't coach, would not be a good thing, even if the diehards think that PS can do what she wants. And what does Tyler have to do it? Next year will be a repeat of this year, only worse.

No, because she earned the right to do so.
Often when someone gives so much and is the complete and only reason that "something" is where it is, those in charge decide that (on rare occasions) respect overrides timeliness. It is rare but so is a legacy like Pats'
Just curious, What will those in charge say when you start slipping.
I know, I know - You will gladly step down on your own and I believe this.
Why? Because you already demonstrated how unselfish you are with your comment.

ModelMaker writes:

I think Pat Summitt was the greatest women's basketball coach of all time. She is the reason why so many are interested in womens basketball. She brought a lot of joy to my life just watching her team play through the years. That said I think Pat will retire within the next week. I think she will do what's best for the womens basketball program at Tn. After she retires I think Dave Hart will replace her with one of the best coaches in the nation; someone that can out recruit and out coach that coach at Uconn. Just my opinion.

Razor784 writes:

I think she's earned the right to stay as long as she can do it. She didn't REALLY do it this past year. The players on the court heard Holly's voice through most of the game. Again, if she stays or goes should be up to her, but I don't want another year like last year, I think the situation weighed heavily on the players and that's why they under achieved so badly

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to Razor784:

I think she's earned the right to stay as long as she can do it. She didn't REALLY do it this past year. The players on the court heard Holly's voice through most of the game. Again, if she stays or goes should be up to her, but I don't want another year like last year, I think the situation weighed heavily on the players and that's why they under achieved so badly

I made an earlier post that suggested the same but wish to add the following. Pat gave a "once in a lifetime" era. The fans wishing to push her out the door, are doing so because they believe that we will quickly return to #1. A few may be surprised to learn that it is not always that easy.

underthehill writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

I made an earlier post that suggested the same but wish to add the following. Pat gave a "once in a lifetime" era. The fans wishing to push her out the door, are doing so because they believe that we will quickly return to #1. A few may be surprised to learn that it is not always that easy.

It is obvious the only thing pushing Pat out the door is her condition..not her fans..it is unreasonable to think otherwise..Pat has earned respect for all she has done ..not just for UT but women's basketball but all over the world..from what I have seen ..Pat is in no condition to make a reasonable judgement as to whether she should remain as head coach..it is my hope she will be retained as a consultant and recruiting assistant..regardless as to how this works out..no one is going to think less of Pat..

Clarkrm0706 writes:

in response to underthehill:

It is obvious the only thing pushing Pat out the door is her condition..not her fans..it is unreasonable to think otherwise..Pat has earned respect for all she has done ..not just for UT but women's basketball but all over the world..from what I have seen ..Pat is in no condition to make a reasonable judgement as to whether she should remain as head coach..it is my hope she will be retained as a consultant and recruiting assistant..regardless as to how this works out..no one is going to think less of Pat..

This post was not intended for "her fans". If you believe no one is pushing, I suggest you read a couple of the minority respnoses. I apologize, I have no prob with you but your statement of "no one", is seriously underestimating some of the fanbase.

Clarkrm0706 writes:

*responses

Mike_In_Storrs_CT writes:

I see Jen Rizzotti as the next coach of Tenn.:)

Mike_In_Storrs_CT writes:

Just curious how many here are going to watch the games this weekend? This could be the best final four in history,,clearly these four teams have been the very best in the country the entire year. To be honest , the NCAA should have just completely scrapped the entire tournament this year.. And instead they should have just had a round robin with Baylor, Uconn, Stanford, and Notre Dame, maybe have each of them play each other in five game series, and a championship at the end.. That would have been much more exciting than allowing the other 60 teams to be a part of what these 4 teams have done..Fans would have loved it too, if you looked at the horrible attendence numbers at practically all the tourney games its shameful..Notre Dame vs Maryland had about 50 people in the stands if they were lucky..This entire tournament was about 4 great teams, and 60 terrible teams that had no business being on the same court with Baylor, Uconn, Stanford, and Notre Dame..Sorry folks but thats the truth whether you like it or not..

rdberry#654521 writes:

The case can be made that Coach Summit has earned the right to say when it is over for her. However, the more time goes by, the more the disease will be progressing and she will be losing more control of her faculties and her decision making ability. Mike's comment about Rizotti is ridiculous. She should succeed Auriemma and give UCONN some integrity to its' program, a concept that has been foreign in Storrs for some time now. Coach Summit could be kept on as a consultant or coach emertus. The Lady Vols need someone who can be a strong willed leader, mentor, teacher and strategist, someone who could fulfill the role Coach Summit did for so many years with excellence. The names have been mentioned countless times: Caldwell, Harper, Goestenkors, Cooper. I'm just not convinced there is an assistant on the staff now dynamic to pull it all together. Too many voices trying to get in a kid's ear can be confusing and counter productive. There's no quick fix. Tennesse is not the Tennessee of even 5 or 10 years ago. The school will have to be more competitive in recruiting to get the type of players talent-wise and attitude wise who are good enough to will the team to victory on off nights. God is not in His heaven if UT is not among the elite.

rdberry#654521 writes:

in response to Mike_In_Storrs_CT:

Just curious how many here are going to watch the games this weekend? This could be the best final four in history,,clearly these four teams have been the very best in the country the entire year. To be honest , the NCAA should have just completely scrapped the entire tournament this year.. And instead they should have just had a round robin with Baylor, Uconn, Stanford, and Notre Dame, maybe have each of them play each other in five game series, and a championship at the end.. That would have been much more exciting than allowing the other 60 teams to be a part of what these 4 teams have done..Fans would have loved it too, if you looked at the horrible attendence numbers at practically all the tourney games its shameful..Notre Dame vs Maryland had about 50 people in the stands if they were lucky..This entire tournament was about 4 great teams, and 60 terrible teams that had no business being on the same court with Baylor, Uconn, Stanford, and Notre Dame..Sorry folks but thats the truth whether you like it or not..

If your team plays Baylor, I hope Griner dunks on them just like Candace did in Hartford the last year before Coach Summit refused to renew the series contract due to Geno or the school's or school's alumni unauthorized under-the-table gifts and living arrangements to Moore and her Mom.

dvols writes:

the right choice will be made!

Volinflan writes:

I'll toss my hat into this ring. I was in Eufaula Alabama several years ago and the town (the whole town) was in an uproar because "Pat Summit" was coming to town. The President could not have caused more excitement. I think she may have been recruiting Gwen Jackson! Not sure.

She had such mystic. As John Wooden said "I don't recruit, I take applications." And that was the way with Pat Summit - she got all the great players, because before her it was a garage door game with maybe partial scholarships. Now because of a cruel disease (and the curse of age that all of us have to deal with), not all of the great players are automatically coming to Tennessee. But how many still want to be part of the Summit Era? What happens in the next few weeks signing period but especially in November, will be more important than who made the last three pointer. Will those players come to Tennessee because Pat is the coach, or will they not come to Tennessee because Pat is not the coach? Or will they not come to Tennessee because Pat is the coach?

Perhaps, that's what Pat and her family, staff and University are wrestling with. The woman built a legendary program and you know she has it's best interest at heart. As a fan, I don't know how to feel on the subject. Pity Hart. I just know that if Pat wants to coach I'll be watching. If you think you'll be watching anyway, better look up the Atlanta Braves attendance numbers since Leo Mazonni and Bobby Cox stepped down. If Pat stays those 15,000 fans stay. Any change made better be aimed at how to roll this transition over and keep those 15,000 fans. Pity Hart!

Volinflan writes:

in response to Mike_In_Storrs_CT:

Just curious how many here are going to watch the games this weekend? This could be the best final four in history,,clearly these four teams have been the very best in the country the entire year. To be honest , the NCAA should have just completely scrapped the entire tournament this year.. And instead they should have just had a round robin with Baylor, Uconn, Stanford, and Notre Dame, maybe have each of them play each other in five game series, and a championship at the end.. That would have been much more exciting than allowing the other 60 teams to be a part of what these 4 teams have done..Fans would have loved it too, if you looked at the horrible attendence numbers at practically all the tourney games its shameful..Notre Dame vs Maryland had about 50 people in the stands if they were lucky..This entire tournament was about 4 great teams, and 60 terrible teams that had no business being on the same court with Baylor, Uconn, Stanford, and Notre Dame..Sorry folks but thats the truth whether you like it or not..

Now Mikey, go crawl into your hole and wait until Ground Dog Day (funny). But yes a lot of us will be watching the games this weekend. Four really good ladies teams are playing. I'm just old enough to remember what Wilt Chamberlin and Bill Russel did to the men's game. Griner is maybe doing this to the womens game. Too bad! I'd like to watch the four teams play this weekend without her. I really think Baylor is a good team even without Griner.

Unfortunately, Tennessee didn't have an answer for Griner. UConn doesn't either. Without her it would be a dog fight with a lot of balanced talent. But you just cain't grow eight inches and 20 inches span.

ModelMaker writes:

in response to Mike_In_Storrs_CT:

Just curious how many here are going to watch the games this weekend? This could be the best final four in history,,clearly these four teams have been the very best in the country the entire year. To be honest , the NCAA should have just completely scrapped the entire tournament this year.. And instead they should have just had a round robin with Baylor, Uconn, Stanford, and Notre Dame, maybe have each of them play each other in five game series, and a championship at the end.. That would have been much more exciting than allowing the other 60 teams to be a part of what these 4 teams have done..Fans would have loved it too, if you looked at the horrible attendence numbers at practically all the tourney games its shameful..Notre Dame vs Maryland had about 50 people in the stands if they were lucky..This entire tournament was about 4 great teams, and 60 terrible teams that had no business being on the same court with Baylor, Uconn, Stanford, and Notre Dame..Sorry folks but thats the truth whether you like it or not..

Uconn will never play Baylor. They will loose to Notre Dame and then Notre Dame will beat Baylor for the National Title.

SBWB2 writes:

From Nashville: Please go to the tennessean.com and look at this...

David Climer: Pat Summitt should end Lady Vols pain by retiring...

I wrote this reply to the Tennessean...

" To: Carol Hudler, Maria De Varenne, David Climer

I pen this note to you to express my continued disgust with your sports writer David Climer... I have not read him in years because I cannot stand his cute approach to journalism [I use the word "journalism" loosely here], but his subtitles underscore his lack of class... Your paper is going under, and this fellow contributes to that end... Climer's lack of class concerning Coach Summit is inexcusable... He should either apologize or resign, or better yet, you fire him."

Please speak up. SBWB2

r2d2 writes:

in response to bigfan865:

Holly's coaching ability can not be judged on this year. The tears she shed after the Baylor game were tears of pure emotional and physical exhaustion. She has been doing a balancing act that none of us can begin to understand. Step up and be the head coach, step back and be an assistant. In addition she is watching her best friend slip away right before her eyes. I know how my job was affected when my mom had cancer, and I didn't even live in the same town with her. I can't imagine how tough it would have been if I was seeing it everyday for hours on end. And cancer wasn't as bad as what Pat's facing because with Pat her mind and personality are changing. I commend Holly as well as Micki and Dean for doing a great job under tough circumstances. I think Holly deserves a shot at truly running things when Pat does leave. Only then can we judge her coaching ability.

Very passionate, sensitive and thougthful comments about Holly. She deserves first consideration as head coach if Pat retires. Which, in my honest opinion, she should do.

volaholic45 writes:

It's terribly sad, but Pat should step down. The team HC approach has no chance of working. And I do NOT want to see our beloved CPS decline further on the job. It isn't fair to anybody.

SBWB2 writes:

in response to volaholic45:

It's terribly sad, but Pat should step down. The team HC approach has no chance of working. And I do NOT want to see our beloved CPS decline further on the job. It isn't fair to anybody.

Yes, Sad indeed.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Volinflan:

I'll toss my hat into this ring. I was in Eufaula Alabama several years ago and the town (the whole town) was in an uproar because "Pat Summit" was coming to town. The President could not have caused more excitement. I think she may have been recruiting Gwen Jackson! Not sure.

She had such mystic. As John Wooden said "I don't recruit, I take applications." And that was the way with Pat Summit - she got all the great players, because before her it was a garage door game with maybe partial scholarships. Now because of a cruel disease (and the curse of age that all of us have to deal with), not all of the great players are automatically coming to Tennessee. But how many still want to be part of the Summit Era? What happens in the next few weeks signing period but especially in November, will be more important than who made the last three pointer. Will those players come to Tennessee because Pat is the coach, or will they not come to Tennessee because Pat is not the coach? Or will they not come to Tennessee because Pat is the coach?

Perhaps, that's what Pat and her family, staff and University are wrestling with. The woman built a legendary program and you know she has it's best interest at heart. As a fan, I don't know how to feel on the subject. Pity Hart. I just know that if Pat wants to coach I'll be watching. If you think you'll be watching anyway, better look up the Atlanta Braves attendance numbers since Leo Mazonni and Bobby Cox stepped down. If Pat stays those 15,000 fans stay. Any change made better be aimed at how to roll this transition over and keep those 15,000 fans. Pity Hart!

Having read all the responses on this and related articles, yours come as close to summing up my conflicted feelings as any other. Is it about Pat or is it about the program, or IS Pat the program? All I know is that we LV fans over the years have witnessed greatness unprecedented in women's sports in many forms and are just having a hard time believing that, if it is not already over, the end is in sight. I think UT will continue to have an exemplary women's basketball program, but it would almost be unreasonable to expect it will ever reach such heights again. I hope I'm wrong.

SummerfieldVol writes:

in response to Clarkrm0706:

I made an earlier post that suggested the same but wish to add the following. Pat gave a "once in a lifetime" era. The fans wishing to push her out the door, are doing so because they believe that we will quickly return to #1. A few may be surprised to learn that it is not always that easy.

I would be all for Pat staying as long as she wanted to if she was the Pat of 4 or 5 years ago. Everyone know she is head coach in name only, just look at this year. Holly did the coaching and it went on Pat's record because she is Head Coach of record. I don't want someone doing the coaching and Pat's name and record taking the blame, good or bad. Like I said if Pat was still calling the plays I would say stay as long as you like.

movol53 writes:

in response to Mike_In_Storrs_CT:

Just curious how many here are going to watch the games this weekend? This could be the best final four in history,,clearly these four teams have been the very best in the country the entire year. To be honest , the NCAA should have just completely scrapped the entire tournament this year.. And instead they should have just had a round robin with Baylor, Uconn, Stanford, and Notre Dame, maybe have each of them play each other in five game series, and a championship at the end.. That would have been much more exciting than allowing the other 60 teams to be a part of what these 4 teams have done..Fans would have loved it too, if you looked at the horrible attendence numbers at practically all the tourney games its shameful..Notre Dame vs Maryland had about 50 people in the stands if they were lucky..This entire tournament was about 4 great teams, and 60 terrible teams that had no business being on the same court with Baylor, Uconn, Stanford, and Notre Dame..Sorry folks but thats the truth whether you like it or not..

I really hate to be another that is posting to Mike at UCONN because he usually wants to "rub it in and be a jerk" however, the bottom line is this:If it were not for Pat Summitt building women's basketball (and women sports in general)into the strong college sport that it is Geno would NOT have a job and he'd just be another unemployed yankee. Mike don't mind anyone posting on this site just don't be a jerk. Yes we lost our game with Baylor but to be honest that is the least of the Vol Nations concerns. We are concerned for Pat and secondly for our current and future Lady Vols.
This team and coaches have had a difficult year with all the additional press and speculation about Pat; so please show just a little bit of respect to the woman who made women's sports relevant.

thevoice writes:

in response to SBWB2:

From Nashville: Please go to the tennessean.com and look at this...

David Climer: Pat Summitt should end Lady Vols pain by retiring...

I wrote this reply to the Tennessean...

" To: Carol Hudler, Maria De Varenne, David Climer

I pen this note to you to express my continued disgust with your sports writer David Climer... I have not read him in years because I cannot stand his cute approach to journalism [I use the word "journalism" loosely here], but his subtitles underscore his lack of class... Your paper is going under, and this fellow contributes to that end... Climer's lack of class concerning Coach Summit is inexcusable... He should either apologize or resign, or better yet, you fire him."

Please speak up. SBWB2

If you find a columnist anywhere who is classy, please let me know. They don't exist. Their job is to project a controversial opinion and in turn, sell to readers.

My opinion is I'm not so much concerned about the UT women's program as I am about Pat going on top of her game with her faculties remaining. It pains me to see her on the sidelines on national TV pseudo-coaching. I know that's not the way she wants to be remembered and sadly, it will only escalate. She deserves to be head coach as long as she wants to. But for Pat (again, not UT), I hope she steps away with grace and dignity.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

Pat is the greatest coach we could have ever had for LV's. She built the program. I admire her tremendously. I do want her to go out as near the top as she can. Have seen too many coaches, players and officials hang around beyond their years. I do not know the extent of her dementia, not do I know her true level of functioning. I just want her to not try to do something that her illness will not allow her to do. As for those who bash Holly, it is impossible to know what caliber of head coach she will be from watching her this year as she was attempting to keep this thing together. If anyone on the present staff gets the chance to lead a future LV team I hope it is Holly. She knows the game and can recruit as well. She can offer continuity for the program. It will be a true slap in Pat's face to see a male coach take over this program. I hope that never happens. The same type of posters who bashed Counzo's hiring are now bashing Holly. You are either right or wrong in your assessment of her ability. I believe you are wrong just as those who bashed Counzo were wrong. Keep this thing going as a matter of fact get this thing back to the very top. That is what we LV fans are accustomed to.

Volinflan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Having read all the responses on this and related articles, yours come as close to summing up my conflicted feelings as any other. Is it about Pat or is it about the program, or IS Pat the program? All I know is that we LV fans over the years have witnessed greatness unprecedented in women's sports in many forms and are just having a hard time believing that, if it is not already over, the end is in sight. I think UT will continue to have an exemplary women's basketball program, but it would almost be unreasonable to expect it will ever reach such heights again. I hope I'm wrong.

But it doesn't have to reach those heights again. It already has and we have had the joy of being part of it as fans. Most fans never will. When I wear my Lady Vols t-shirt it just won't have to say "National Champions 2013" for me to enjoy wearing it. Twenty years from now I'll be telling people about the great times watching the Lady Vols. Just as I do telling about watching "Sid Slid". (you have to be a Braves fan). If we fans stay "Pat" the Tennessee program will remain in the upper echelon of the sport. Go back to six hundred a game like most programs and Tennessee will fade into the past. I don't think Pat will let that happen.

I'm going to order season tickets for next year.

VFL70 writes:

We are like a rudderless ship right now.

Let her stay, no step down, let her leave when she is ready, no thats not the right approach either. What do we do? Nothing and everything
will just take of itself. Problem solved.

SoddyVol writes:

in response to r2d2:

Very passionate, sensitive and thougthful comments about Holly. She deserves first consideration as head coach if Pat retires. Which, in my honest opinion, she should do.

I doubt if this year for Holly could have been any harder. Having to be an assistant while at the same time have so much Head Coaching responsibility is a major load for anyone to handle no matter how great a coach they can or could be. I actually hope Pat can coach and get a few more wins but also would like to see what Holly can do as a "Full Time" head coach when the time comes. That is, if she can handle all the pressure up to that point.

g-man writes:

in response to SoddyVol:

I doubt if this year for Holly could have been any harder. Having to be an assistant while at the same time have so much Head Coaching responsibility is a major load for anyone to handle no matter how great a coach they can or could be. I actually hope Pat can coach and get a few more wins but also would like to see what Holly can do as a "Full Time" head coach when the time comes. That is, if she can handle all the pressure up to that point.

division 2 material

kaida71 writes:

I am just curious to know how close are we to signing the two JUCO recruits? LV need to try to pump up this incoming class!!!

FanNotSheep writes:

I see no reason she couldn't stay with the program without being head coach. She could create a new position, sort of in a mentor role, to whomever they decide to hire to replace her. That way she could contribute on her better days and have input, but the new coach would make the decisions and simply consult with Pat when she is having those better days.

As an advisor and tremendous resource, Pat Summitt at 50 percent is better than most people at the top of their game. But the awkwardness of the situation is a huge problem and the lack of clarity on the recruiting trail must be dealt with or the program will slide faster than it has already.

huntined#565710 writes:

I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about this. We all LOVE AND RESPECT PAT and at the same time I hated to see her on that bench and not being PAT. I have too many memories of her up in the players and ref's face and to see her sit and not doing that just hurts so much. I know maybe we all are just now able to see what her illness does and has no respect for anyone. If you think about it every coach in the country did and will use this with every recruit we try to get. I just know we have had a GREAT HERO at TENN. for a long time and the thought of not having OUR HERO hurts. I just hope we are not asking too much from her to want her to stay if it puts a burden on her and at the same time would it be more of a burden on her if she leaves. I just know us VOL fans have had Women's Basketball to brag about for a very long time and it is all because of one person and that is our beloved PAT!! As I think about this I for one would not want to be in HART'S shoes right now and have to deal with this.

arkyvol writes:

in response to TennesseeTonyT:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

while we're at it, maybe we ought to dig up general neyland and display him lenin style on the tennessee sidelines. after all, we've never had another one like him either.

RLL59 writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

I see no reason she couldn't stay with the program without being head coach. She could create a new position, sort of in a mentor role, to whomever they decide to hire to replace her. That way she could contribute on her better days and have input, but the new coach would make the decisions and simply consult with Pat when she is having those better days.

As an advisor and tremendous resource, Pat Summitt at 50 percent is better than most people at the top of their game. But the awkwardness of the situation is a huge problem and the lack of clarity on the recruiting trail must be dealt with or the program will slide faster than it has already.

Unfortunately, if Coach Summitt stays on in a capacity other than head coach, it would preclude hiring an established coach from the outside. No coach who has credentials to take over one of the top programs in the country would be willing to step into a position where he/she would be seen, correctly or not, as not fully in control of the team. Holly could probably coach in that position. Those in charge will make that decision, but it does limit their options.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Volinflan:

But it doesn't have to reach those heights again. It already has and we have had the joy of being part of it as fans. Most fans never will. When I wear my Lady Vols t-shirt it just won't have to say "National Champions 2013" for me to enjoy wearing it. Twenty years from now I'll be telling people about the great times watching the Lady Vols. Just as I do telling about watching "Sid Slid". (you have to be a Braves fan). If we fans stay "Pat" the Tennessee program will remain in the upper echelon of the sport. Go back to six hundred a game like most programs and Tennessee will fade into the past. I don't think Pat will let that happen.

I'm going to order season tickets for next year.

I hear you, friend, and I like your attitude. I will remain a fan of all things Big Orange until the day I die. I'm just saying that what we HAVE experienced in the LV program and Pat is probably unique in history. Rarely can any one person be credited with the virtual creation of an entire major sport.

After Pat, whenever that is, UT will be just another program--though hopefully a good or even great one--rather than THE program of a stature that every other one aspires to. I would LOVE for the program to surge right back up that mountain and plant the LV flag at the "summit" once again, starting next season, but I just don't see it happening that soon if ever. Hope I'm wrong.

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