The end of the Pat Summitt era at Tennessee apparently won’t cause a major dip in fan support.
Tennessee’s 104-44 exhibition victory over Carson-Newman under new coach Holly Warlick on Thursday drew an announced attendance of 10,647, only a small drop from the average crowds of 11,416 for the No. 20 Lady Vols’ two preseason games in Summitt’s 38th and final season as head coach.
The list of spectators included Summitt, who was seated in the front row behind the Tennessee bench watching her longtime assistant’s head coaching debut. Tennessee senior Taber Spani leaned into the stands and hugged Summitt before the opening tip.
Summitt stepped down in April, one year after announcing she had early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. She remains on staff as head coach emeritus.