UT to honor Pat Summitt with statue, plaza

An artist's rendering of the proposed Pat Summitt Plaza to be built at the corner of Lake Loudoun Boulevard and Phillip Fulmer Way.

An artist's rendering of the proposed Pat Summitt Plaza to be built at the corner of Lake Loudoun Boulevard and Phillip Fulmer Way.

With a campus street and a basketball court already named in Pat Summitt’s honor, the University of Tennessee had to be more creative to recognize the Lady Vols coaching legend.

And encourage some assistance.

The university will use land across from Thompson-Boling Arena and Pratt Pavilion to build a plaza featuring a bronze statue of Summitt. It will be called Pat Summitt Plaza. UT issued a release on Wednesday elaborating on plans for a Summitt statue that UT athletic director Dave Hart first mentioned last month.

“It’s a very fitting tribute to Pat,” Hart said Wednesday night at the showing of “Pat XO”, a documentary on Summitt. “I’m extremely confident it will be done in a first-class manner and people will respond.”

While unsure of the total cost, Hart said the plaza will be privately funded through donations. Fans can support the project through the Tennessee Fund. According to patsummittplaza.com, a $1,000 donation receives recognition on the plaza and a print from the dedication, along with priority points. A framed print from the dedication is added to the package for a $5,000 donation. A $10,000 donation adds an invitation to the dedication dinner.

At Summitt’s charity golf tournament in May, Hart said that the university planned to unveil a statue of Summitt as part of the renovated streetscape on Lake Loudoun Boulevard near the university’s athletic facilities.

The plaza will be built at the corner of Lake Loudoun Boulevard and Phillip Fulmer Way. It will greet fans as they arrive for basketball games at the arena, where the court is named after Summitt. The artist depiction shows flower beds and a wall framing the statue. The wall curls up behind the statue, finishing with a basketball-net design.

Summitt, who officially stepped down from full-time coaching and assumed the title of head coach emeritus last year, already has been honored with a statue at UT Martin, her alma mater.

Hart said that he hoped to have a dedication ceremony during the fall.

“I’m hoping this fall at some point during the middle to late part of the football season we could have a dedication,” he said. “A lot of things have to fall into place for us to hit that target, but I’m hopeful that we can find a way to hit that target.”

Fans can support the project with a donation through the Tennessee Fund by calling 865-974-1218, visit patsummittplaza.com, or email info@patsummittplaza.com.

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Comments » 36

SummittsCourt writes:

Awesome News and well deserved. I can't wait to visit.

Vols_For_The_Win writes:

Nice!

McMinnVol writes:

Does anyone know if this monument is going to be located on the same corner as the parking garage? or will it be on the same corner as Pratt Pavillion?

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Ok I'm going to be a critic on the statue. I love the idea and I support the statue 100%. In my opinion and just a opinion I think the statue she be with her 'in the ear' of one of her players with one hand on there shoulder as she did throughout her career. She was a teacher of the game. I know there would be a dispute about who that player would be so I guess the artist is right in just doing what he does best. Being a sculptor. Go Vols , this is awesome

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

in response to McMinnVol:

Does anyone know if this monument is going to be located on the same corner as the parking garage? or will it be on the same corner as Pratt Pavillion?

If you look at Google earth you can see a patch of dirt on the edge of Phillip Fulmer at the TBA entrance ramp. I guess it will be there

volboy81 writes:

This is great and very well-deserved for Coach Summitt. I hope the artist can get her eyes to have the look of her famous stare!

richvol writes:

Gosh,would it not have been nice to see UT honor the General in a similar way instead of locking him up behind a fence under the stadium where no one can see him?

UT can do the stupidest things sometimes...like giving the greatest kicking coach,George Cafego,that ever lived,and a hall of famer,a used van when he retired after 45 years at UT.

Caspian writes:

A wonderful gesture to a great legend. However, I must say that when I first glanced at the headline, I thought it said, "UT to honor Pat Summitt with statue, pizza".

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

WHAT?! That mysogynistic pig brought in here to ruin UT athletics is....going to...honor a women?

Say it ain't so "truth squad", say it ain't so?

Sorry, I digress. Perfect honor for a perfect coach. Go Vols!

CrankE writes:

So how is this being funded again?

With UTAD being a mere $200M in the hole and barely breaking even last year, it's a fair question that KnoxNewzPravda again refuses to ask.

FIX FOOTBALL FIRST.

davesmorse writes:

A marvelous tribute to Coach Pat Summitt who has had an incredible impact on the lives of hundreds of women during her stellar coaching career.

865fan writes:

It is my understanding, from a conversation I had with my TN Fund rep., that this statue and "park" will be located directly across the street from Pratt. That would be caddie corner from the train cars and across from the TN Fund offices. In other words on the NE corner of that intersection where the G3, G4, G5 parking garage is. They are going to cut back that grass hill.

865fan writes:

Crank,
As for the funding of this project, I was also told it will be through private funds. I don't think the football budget will be depleted. I know I wrote a separate check for this and did not change my regular annual donation to the TN Fund. I think others will do the same.

northfan writes:

in response to maxvolfan#217855:

Ok I'm going to be a critic on the statue. I love the idea and I support the statue 100%. In my opinion and just a opinion I think the statue she be with her 'in the ear' of one of her players with one hand on there shoulder as she did throughout her career. She was a teacher of the game. I know there would be a dispute about who that player would be so I guess the artist is right in just doing what he does best. Being a sculptor. Go Vols , this is awesome

Either that or with that glare of hers and arms on hips or folded across her chest.

voloffaith writes:

in response to ElizabethtonvolnNC:

WHAT?! That mysogynistic pig brought in here to ruin UT athletics is....going to...honor a women?

Say it ain't so "truth squad", say it ain't so?

Sorry, I digress. Perfect honor for a perfect coach. Go Vols!

See you are offering stale ,out-of-date bread. "to.....honor a WOMEN". Woman would be singular sir.......sad you demean the city of Jason Witten knowingly using it in ure lil poster chile name......have a history of abusing previous player's names.....oh well ewe r what ewe r.......try and help somebody have a nice day and see that you actually will feel good legitimately as long as ya stay humble........

ActualUTAlum writes:

in response to ElizabethtonvolnNC:

WHAT?! That mysogynistic pig brought in here to ruin UT athletics is....going to...honor a women?

Say it ain't so "truth squad", say it ain't so?

Sorry, I digress. Perfect honor for a perfect coach. Go Vols!

Or maybe this is proof that he's not a pig after all.

Based on the fact you're from Elizabethton and never set foot in a college classroom, I guess I'll have to break this down for you. Dave Hart was brought in for the specific purpose of merging the athletic departments. Every other school in the country has one athletic department, and it's far past time for UT to do the same. That doesn't mean that anyone hates women, it just means we're merging the athletic departments. Jennings was fired for being a troublemaker, period. Not because she's a woman (allegedly).

The women's sports at UT have better facilities and fan support than any other place in the country, probably the world. All of this is paid for by men's sports. And you're still complaining.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to ElizabethtonvolnNC:

WHAT?! That mysogynistic pig brought in here to ruin UT athletics is....going to...honor a women?

Say it ain't so "truth squad", say it ain't so?

Sorry, I digress. Perfect honor for a perfect coach. Go Vols!

Don't despair, Eliza, some of us recognize sarcasm when we see it.

ONUV writes:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me

voloffaith writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Don't despair, Eliza, some of us recognize sarcasm when we see it.

Nice spin....this is all lizzy does day in and day out........not sarcasm, but AGENDA MAN!!! The police don't think calling someone a porker is abusive or defamatory either....try that in public and ya just might get popped..........

vol98champ writes:

All for one and one for all. Sure would be nice for just one day. Guess I'm just a dreamer.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to ONUV:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me

inclined to agree with that sentiment

suspecting maybe next month Ayers Hall will be renamed Pat Summitt Hall ---next year the University of Tenn will likely be renamed University of Pat Summitt

blasphemous as it may sound to many again i comment with all due respect to PS but its gone beyond rediculous already

eduardo writes:

Maybe a statue of Geno should be placed by her side since he will take her so called record in a couple of yrs! Get u some fake bball!!

plainspeaker1 writes:

in response to eduardo:

Maybe a statue of Geno should be placed by her side since he will take her so called record in a couple of yrs! Get u some fake bball!!

Why don't you move your snail buddy out of the way and crawl back under the rock the two of you share!!

Snapshot writes:

in response to Speyers_Spectacular_Show:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh yes, the all-knowing benchwarmer chimes in again with the same old blather as usual. You need to give a rest about John Majors. The man was a UT All-American and won a Nat. Champ. as a coach. What did YOU ever do except be a benchwarmer? NOTHING!!!

You really get off on character assassination don't you? Let if go and get a life, loser.

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

I don't the idea of living legends getting a statue or memorial.. think Joe Paterno. I would let a person's life runs it's course and then and only then when history can't be changed, get the granite out.

Statues of current people should only be reserved for dictators that demand the exposure earlier.

865fan writes:

Henley-Street Bridge,
You make a very good point and I generally have the same view about Statues and memorials for the living. How stupid would TN look if we had a statue of Fulmer after winning a NC, then fired him? Actually firing him with a street named for him looked bad enough.
BUT...this statue for Pat is a little different and that's why I am supporting it. Sadly, with her condition, she will not have years of "normal" life ahead of her. Her character and contributions are well established. She isn't going to go out and get a DUI or shoot a friend tomorrow. Also, she won't ever go coach somewhere else. (Fulmer may, Saban may after AL gave him a statue) Plus, Pat is more than just the TN coach. She is the face of women's basketball and a true pioneer. So for me this statue is different than a Paterno or Saban. Also, I see the urgency in that the school wants this done while she is still well enough to be aware of it. Just my thoughts, but I do agree with your point for most statues.

Coach_K writes:

in response to 865fan:

Henley-Street Bridge,
You make a very good point and I generally have the same view about Statues and memorials for the living. How stupid would TN look if we had a statue of Fulmer after winning a NC, then fired him? Actually firing him with a street named for him looked bad enough.
BUT...this statue for Pat is a little different and that's why I am supporting it. Sadly, with her condition, she will not have years of "normal" life ahead of her. Her character and contributions are well established. She isn't going to go out and get a DUI or shoot a friend tomorrow. Also, she won't ever go coach somewhere else. (Fulmer may, Saban may after AL gave him a statue) Plus, Pat is more than just the TN coach. She is the face of women's basketball and a true pioneer. So for me this statue is different than a Paterno or Saban. Also, I see the urgency in that the school wants this done while she is still well enough to be aware of it. Just my thoughts, but I do agree with your point for most statues.

I agree, Pat is a one of kind lady. Top of the line person, mother, friend, mentor, representative, and last but not least coach. She always did what she thought was right, even if it wasn't popular. I for one look forward to visiting her plaza for years to come. WE BACK PAT!!!

watchdog writes:

They ought to figure out where the statue's eyes are directed and put scorch marks there as a gag. Man what an intense gaze! I saw her at Fresh Market once looking at a head of lettuce over in produce, and for a second I thought the lettuce was going to burst into flames. Instead though the lettuce dug deeper and gave more effort than it even knew it had.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Nice spin....this is all lizzy does day in and day out........not sarcasm, but AGENDA MAN!!! The police don't think calling someone a porker is abusive or defamatory either....try that in public and ya just might get popped..........

The store must be closed because you are definitely out to lunch. Read the last two lines of Eliza's post again. I'm sure even Jesus would get the calling out of the troll brigade.

manoffewwords writes:

Anyone who does not support this Plaza should be ignored and does not deserve a response .

eduardo writes:

in response to manoffewwords:

Anyone who does not support this Plaza should be ignored and does not deserve a response .

ya think so? do ya now. Idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

in response to voloffaith:

See you are offering stale ,out-of-date bread. "to.....honor a WOMEN". Woman would be singular sir.......sad you demean the city of Jason Witten knowingly using it in ure lil poster chile name......have a history of abusing previous player's names.....oh well ewe r what ewe r.......try and help somebody have a nice day and see that you actually will feel good legitimately as long as ya stay humble........

Faith - you need to check the history of my posts! With such keen insight, can you not detect the simplest elements of sarcasm?

Certainly I can with the dumb usage of ewe that you constantly overuse.

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

in response to ActualUTAlum:

Or maybe this is proof that he's not a pig after all.

Based on the fact you're from Elizabethton and never set foot in a college classroom, I guess I'll have to break this down for you. Dave Hart was brought in for the specific purpose of merging the athletic departments. Every other school in the country has one athletic department, and it's far past time for UT to do the same. That doesn't mean that anyone hates women, it just means we're merging the athletic departments. Jennings was fired for being a troublemaker, period. Not because she's a woman (allegedly).

The women's sports at UT have better facilities and fan support than any other place in the country, probably the world. All of this is paid for by men's sports. And you're still complaining.

Whatever. Apparently, that higher education you received does nothing in the way of common sense.

How is that for a breakdown? Oh, and please note the sarcasm.

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Nice spin....this is all lizzy does day in and day out........not sarcasm, but AGENDA MAN!!! The police don't think calling someone a porker is abusive or defamatory either....try that in public and ya just might get popped..........

WRONG! The only thing I have done on a consistent basis is call into question those of the so called "truth squad" who continually castigate supportive fans.

How could any of those individuals think that possibly helps UT more with that type of criticism than optimisim coming from supporters? Furthermore, if those knuckleheads cannot see that CBJ, has reenergized the fan base, recruited his tail off, and appears to have a plan in place for the future (again note the recruiting being done for 2015) is just anti-UT.

All this bluster about a mid-tier coach from a substandard conference....coaches have to start somewhere, and this guy has had some success where he has been previously.

fratricide08 writes:

Looks marvelous -- I mean truly a great design (and I'm picky). However, I do hope they add features that would allow students and visitors to sit back, relax, and enjoy a fantastic space. It would be a shame if this were simply a walk-on-by space given how good it looks, its importance as a tribute to a woman who inspires us all, and how much public spaces everyone can enjoy (especially in Spring Semester and Early Fall) are desperately needed.

finpat1959#1419108 writes:

I am a UConn fan and miss the rivalry between the Lady Vols and UConn. Went to every game that UConn played in Knoxville and CT.

I fully support the statue and plaza that will be erected to honor Pat Summitt. She is a special person and having a disease such as Alzheimers is awful, but Pat has tackled it head on like she did her coaching duties at TN.

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