Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt recently retired because of the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt recently retired because of the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Summitt is one of the all-time great coaches in any sport. Her name is the first one that comes to mind when the subject of women’s college basketball is discussed. She is the women’s equivalent to the legendary men’s college basketball coach John Wooden.

During her career she won more than a thousand games while losing just more than two hundred. She is the winningest coach for both women’s and men’s Division I basketball. Her record also included eight national titles and twice as many Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament championships.

It is doubtful that her record will ever be duplicated in the history of college basketball. Many in the media have stated that she could have coached men and would have been equally as successful.

For once, I totally agree with those pundits. Summit has a dagger look for her players during games that could stop a clock and would easily motivate any college athlete. Her players have all played very hard for her and have respected her every step of the way.

An amazing statistic that I admire and respect is that 100 percent of the girls who played during her years at Tennessee graduated from college. Even at the end of her career, Summitt spoke of how women’s basketball is just a tool used to prepare young women for the remainder of their lives.

The men’s NCAA basketball programs could use Summitt’s model and practice what they preach. Coach Summit really “got it.” It is because she did things the right way that she has become a legend and icon (a stark contrast to the overpaid, egocentric men’s college coaches – does Kentucky even have a graduation rate?!).

Wooden has a quote that describes Summitt to a T: “No building is better than its structural foundation, and no man is better than his mental foundation. When I prepared my original ‘Success Pyramid’ years ago, I put industriousness and enthusiasm as the two cornerstones with loyalty right in the middle of the pyramid – loyalty to yourself and to all those dependent upon you.”

Summitt has been a tremendous role model for everyone. She possesses the qualities of greatness, those of character, loyalty, mental toughness, respect, discipline, passion and a tireless work ethic. When the topic of women’s college basketball comes up in the future, Summitt will always be remembered.

n I attended four of the first nine Royals home games – BRUTAL!

n Hopefully the Chiefs’ draft will supplement the already great young talent. Now if everyone can stay healthy.

n My choice in the NBA Finals is still the Bulls and Thunder, but if the Spurs could squeak it out, they would have to be the fan favorite.

n Despite eventually dropping the series, the Missouri Mavericks hockey team showed some mental toughness by  coming back to win 5-2 in Game 5 of the playoff series after losing a heartbreaker in Game 4.

n NASCAR fans are definitely loyal to their sport.

n My quote this week is another from Wooden: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”