Holly Warlick appreciates Pat Summitt, Geno Auriemma paying respects to each other

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2006, file photo, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, left, shakes hand with Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma before an NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn. Connecticut's path to a third straight national championship could include a renewal of the most heated rivalry in women's college basketball. For Auriemma to match Summitt with an eighth national championship he might have to go through her Lady Vols, who earned the top seed in the Dayton region. If both come through their regions, UConn and Tennessee could meet again in the national semifinals at Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

Photo by Wade Payne, AP2006

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2006, file photo, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, left, shakes hand with Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma before an NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn. Connecticut's path to a third straight national championship could include a renewal of the most heated rivalry in women's college basketball. For Auriemma to match Summitt with an eighth national championship he might have to go through her Lady Vols, who earned the top seed in the Dayton region. If both come through their regions, UConn and Tennessee could meet again in the national semifinals at Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

Holly Warlick talks about Pat, Geno and next season

Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma paid their respects to each other Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, Holly Warlick acknowledged the exchange and was grateful for it.

“I think they have a great friendship now,” the Tennessee women’s basketball coach said.

After Connecticut tied UT for the most national championships, winning its eighth with a 93-60 victory over Louisville in New Orleans, Summitt released a congratulatory statement through her son, Tyler.

“Congratulations to Geno Auriemma and the Connecticut Huskies on a remarkable season and an eighth national title,” she said. “Geno is a proven champion and a leader in our game. My best to him, his family, his team and his staff.”

Auriemma paid tribute to Summitt, who now serves as the Lady Vols head coach emeritus after 38 seasons as head coach.

“The only person I compare myself to is Pat Summitt and to be there in that spot with her means a lot to me,” he told reporters after the game. “The fact that I tied Pat Summitt’s record puts you in the category of the greatest women’s basketball coach that ever lived.”

Said Warlick: “It was a very nice tribute for him to do that.”

Warlick also said that there’s no plans for the two programs to resume a series that ended in 2007.

Warlick met with the media at Thompson-Boling Arena and addressed a number of topics.

She said that she knew the late Maggie Dixon, the former Army coach who died in 2006 of heart problems at age 28. On Monday, Warlick received the Division I rookie coach of the year award that’s named after Dixon.

“It’s hard to get an individual award when I know how much everybody goes and puts into it,’’ said Warlick, referring to her players and staff. “Maggie was an outstanding coach and probably better yet an outstanding person.”

The threat of injury and the coaches being allowed two hours of court time with players this summer are two reasons why Warlick is not inclined to have the Lady Vols participate in the Women’s Pilot Rocky Top League.

“I’m open for discussion with them if they’re pretty strong about it,” she said, referring to league organizers. “My first thought is us staying here (on campus) and working together.”

The summer league took a hiatus last year. The previous summer, UT guard Kamiko Williams suffered a knee injury during the final night of league play.

On other matters:

Warlick said incoming freshman Jannah Tucker, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament last summer, has been cleared for workouts and will attend both sessions of summer school. The other freshmen — Mercedes Russell and Jordan Reynolds — will attend the second session, Warlick said. She also said that the nine returning players will be attending both sessions.

Warlick said that she will do a fund-raising motorcyle ride in May to Panama City, Fla., to support the Champions For A Cause Foundation created by her and former Lady Vols player/assistant Nikki Caldwell. The foundation raises funds and awareness to find a cure for breast cancer. Caldwell, now the coach at LSU, will ride to Panama City from Baton Rouge, La.

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Comments » 13

vut5686#1405392 writes:

The Pat/Geno exchanges speak for themselves, are upbeat and should be the end of the story. On other stories, many Vol fans continue to bash Conn and their coach, and without fact, continue the conspiracy stuff from the past. Conn pulled something that upset Pat. I have from other sources been told Geno was a snake and in the wrong. That said, if it involved NCAA violations, CPS would have been obligated to report it...and that did not happen. Old news.

No reason not to move forward; the coaches seem to have. Congratulate them (Conn) and support us (Vols).

madrigal writes:

There are orange folks who can't say anything nice about UConn, and blue people who can't say anything nice about UT. There is no need for that. Pat and Geno have both been tremendously important to the women's game and people need to realize that. I'm glad they've made up their differences. I think they know how important each is to the betterment of the other one's program. I wish a few "fans" would appreciate that.

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

I had the occasion to be in Lansing, Mi., a couple of months ago and met a young woman who was the manager of the facility where I was working. This young woman also happened to be a former UConn player who was on the 2000 squad that beat the LVs for the championship that year in San Antonio. She told me that her favorite Tn story was when an orange clad female LV fan approached her and asked if she played for the LVs. When the young woman informed her that she played for UConn, the LV fan replied by saying, "Honey, that's too bad. You're a pretty young woman, but I just have to tell you that your coach is a real jack***." The young woman went on to play 10 years in the WNBA, but the real irony in this story is that the facility that she manages is named "The Summit."

madrigal writes:

in response to collegegrovebilly:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Really? And you know this how? You've been in his practices? I didn't see anything like bullyish behavior out of him this whole tournament or for that matter during the season. In fact, I noticed that he seemed a lot more laid back and mellow than he used to be. Maybe he's grown up and you haven't.

emteebee writes:

I've been letting go of my Geno animosity for a couple reasons. One was the picture from last year's final 4 showing Pat Summit and Geno embracing. Pat seemed to be illustrating that she was letting things go, that there were more important things than basketball games. The other was the beautiful essay in honor of Pat that was written by Geno's daughter. It was titled "Rocky Top: A Tribute to Pat Summitt." If you haven't read it, do yourselves a favor and google it. Here's a sample" Let me just clear this up right away. Pat Summitt is a titan of women's basketball. She practically IS women's basketball. I know. I'm the daughter of Geno Auriemma...I would be the worlds' most ungrateful, insipid, spoiled, solipsistic idiot if I didn't recognize the importance of this woman in the women's rights movement and the game of basketball as a whole. Women's basketball as an institution would be NOTHING without that woman...Everything my father has done in the world of womens' basketball, Pat Summitt did it first...And she did it with grace and a sense of dignity that you cannot argue...Whether you like it or not, she is the number one reason my father was even able to do half of what he's done. And if I can give her those kind of props, you can too...

It's a beautiful tribute to a great lady. By Geno's kid. How bout that? So I'm letting the UConn hatred go. Life is too short. It's time to recognize the champion in red and blue. Job well done.

KeithfromSweden writes:

in response to emteebee:

I've been letting go of my Geno animosity for a couple reasons. One was the picture from last year's final 4 showing Pat Summit and Geno embracing. Pat seemed to be illustrating that she was letting things go, that there were more important things than basketball games. The other was the beautiful essay in honor of Pat that was written by Geno's daughter. It was titled "Rocky Top: A Tribute to Pat Summitt." If you haven't read it, do yourselves a favor and google it. Here's a sample" Let me just clear this up right away. Pat Summitt is a titan of women's basketball. She practically IS women's basketball. I know. I'm the daughter of Geno Auriemma...I would be the worlds' most ungrateful, insipid, spoiled, solipsistic idiot if I didn't recognize the importance of this woman in the women's rights movement and the game of basketball as a whole. Women's basketball as an institution would be NOTHING without that woman...Everything my father has done in the world of womens' basketball, Pat Summitt did it first...And she did it with grace and a sense of dignity that you cannot argue...Whether you like it or not, she is the number one reason my father was even able to do half of what he's done. And if I can give her those kind of props, you can too...

It's a beautiful tribute to a great lady. By Geno's kid. How bout that? So I'm letting the UConn hatred go. Life is too short. It's time to recognize the champion in red and blue. Job well done.

Kudos to you Emteebee...

Anne37128 writes:

Pat said it best with her normal class.

“Congratulations to Geno Auriemma and the Connecticut Huskies on a remarkable season and an eighth national title,” she said. “Geno is a proven champion and a leader in our game. My best to him, his family, his team and his staff.”

Pat and Geno have been competing rivals for decades as it should be. Both are great coaches. Of course, we Tn fans know Pat is the best! But, let's take the high road as Pat has taken all of her life. Thank you emteebee for you class, honesty, kind remarks and insight. We need more of your maturity here in Tennessee.

SummittsCourt writes:

Cheater geno ties Pat's record and suddenly we, the fans, are supposed to let "bygones be bygones"? Why? Because suddenly we are faced with the fact that he will eventually pass Pat Summitt's Title record and wins record? Maybe because in the public they have mended fences?

H E L L NO! For what he has done and the way he has acted, I will always hate him, his fans and the UCon-vict! If you don't like that, tough!

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

Hatred? No room for it in my life.

In the final analysis, it always comes down to content of character.

'nuff said.

madrigal writes:

in response to emteebee:

I've been letting go of my Geno animosity for a couple reasons. One was the picture from last year's final 4 showing Pat Summit and Geno embracing. Pat seemed to be illustrating that she was letting things go, that there were more important things than basketball games. The other was the beautiful essay in honor of Pat that was written by Geno's daughter. It was titled "Rocky Top: A Tribute to Pat Summitt." If you haven't read it, do yourselves a favor and google it. Here's a sample" Let me just clear this up right away. Pat Summitt is a titan of women's basketball. She practically IS women's basketball. I know. I'm the daughter of Geno Auriemma...I would be the worlds' most ungrateful, insipid, spoiled, solipsistic idiot if I didn't recognize the importance of this woman in the women's rights movement and the game of basketball as a whole. Women's basketball as an institution would be NOTHING without that woman...Everything my father has done in the world of womens' basketball, Pat Summitt did it first...And she did it with grace and a sense of dignity that you cannot argue...Whether you like it or not, she is the number one reason my father was even able to do half of what he's done. And if I can give her those kind of props, you can too...

It's a beautiful tribute to a great lady. By Geno's kid. How bout that? So I'm letting the UConn hatred go. Life is too short. It's time to recognize the champion in red and blue. Job well done.

I wish KNS had a "Like" button for comments! Nicely said.

volsxsnos writes:

Well I'm happy these two have PUBLICLY buried the hatchet. I think the animosity there is only a tribute to what fierce competitors they both are and how much influence they have on the women's game. I absolutely LOVE our Tennessee gal Pat but, honestly, I just can't get there with Coach Imanenema. Sorry.

coffy73 writes:

I've been a fan of both programs for over a decade now! Both teams and coaches epitomize the best there is in womens basketball and I always look to UConn and Tenn. for how the game should be played.

Mike_In_Storrs_CT writes:

Wow,I cant believe all the nasty name calling comments made by a few on this board. Its almost crazy! This world is really filled with a bunch of sick people. On another note, I am looking forward to attending the parade for my Huskies this Sunday, should be a great turnout. I do have to admit that I cant stand these disgusting Sick Politicians who always try to associate themselves after we win a championship. Or for that matter after any team wins a championship. But in CT. We have the most Liberal Minded, Self-Serving Senators, and a Self-Serving Governor of all time. Lieberman, Murphy, And our governor Malloy make me sick to my stomach when they get their pictures taken with our girls. It really makes me puke, and it totally takes away from the whole experience of Uconn Fans enjoying the entire experience.

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