As news of Pat Summitt’s declining health continues to travel around the country, her peers in the college coaching community are beginning to speak out on the legacy that she created.
On Monday morning, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl discussed his former colleague.
“She created a brand called the Lady Vols,” Pearl said during Monday’s SEC coaches teleconference. “Enough said. You say ‘Lady Vol,’ and Pat created a brand that said it all.”
Pearl knows Summitt’s role in building Tennessee well. He spent six seasons as the head coach of Tennessee’s men’s basketball program, with his tenure coming to an end just a year before Summitt’s career came to an end.
The most famous picture of Pearl features him covered in orange body paint attending a Lady Vols game.
“Pat Summitt saw things in people that they did not see in themselves,” Pearl added. “Pat Summitt never apologized to any one of her players for expecting the most out of them, demanding it and getting it.”
“She was a great friend. She was as loyal as they came. If you were a friend of Pat Summitt’s, she was always there for you. She’s a great mother, and she had the ability to get the most out of her ladies. As much as anybody. She was the most accomplished person in her field and the humblest woman I know. She was the best at what she did, but she was always reading, writing, asking questions, watching tape, watching the Olympics, watching European basketball. She wanted to be on the cutting edge and was always trying to get better.