“Coach Summitt is an integral part of the Southeastern Conference’s history, and we will be forever grateful for her many contributions to this league and to college basketball” said SEC commissioner Mike Slive in a release after the announcement was made at a dinner Thursday at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla., with Summitt in attendance. “We are pleased that the Southeastern Conference can play a part in not only honoring Pat but in helping her reach her goals for The Foundation Fund.”
The foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations that provide Alzheimer’s education and research as well as support services.
Summitt announced last August that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. She stepped down April 18 after 38 years as coach to become head coach emeritus for the Lady Vols’ program.
Along with the financial contribution, the SEC women’s basketball coaches unanimously supported continued participation in an annual “We Back Pat Week” to be held each January. The week-long initiative, started last season, will bring awareness and recognition to Summitt’s Foundation Fund.