Tennessee’s Pat Summitt working on memoir
NEW YORK (AP) — Hall of Fame basketball coach Pat Summitt, who last week announced she was stepping down after 38 years at the University of Tennessee, has a book deal.
The record-setting leader of the Lady Volunteers’ basketball team has an agreement with Crown Archetype, an imprint of Random House Inc., for a memoir that is currently untitled. According to Crown, which announced the deal Tuesday, the book will cover her “full life journey,” including her diagnosis last year of early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Publication is expected in spring 2013.
Summitt’s final record stands at 1,098-208, 16 regular-season Southeastern Conference championships and 16 SEC tournament titles — the last won a month ago.
During her time, Tennessee never failed to reach the NCAA tournament, never received a seed lower than No. 5 and reached 18 Final Fours. Those Final Fours tie the UCLA and North Carolina men for the most all-time by a college basketball program, and she never had a season with a losing record.
“Basketball has always been far more than a game to me: it’s a way of being, an ethic, and a value, and so my intention is that this will be more than a sports book,” Summit said in a statement.
“Competition got me off the farm and trained me to seek out challenges and to endure setbacks; and in combination with my faith, it sustains me now in my fight with Alzheimer’s disease,” she wrote. “I look forward to sharing with readers the experiences that shaped me as a mother and a teacher and a leader, and how I’ve tried to shape the young women who wear the Tennessee Orange. This book provides me with yet another opportunity to do what I love to do most, which is to get up and go to work on an exciting challenge every day.”
Summitt, 59, will collaborate on the book with Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins. The two worked together on the motivational “Reach for the Summit” and on “Raise the Roof,” about the Lady Vols’ 1997-98 championship. Summitt won more games than anyone else in NCAA college basketball during her years at Tennessee.
Financial terms for the book were not disclosed. Summitt was represented by Robert Barnett, a Washington attorney whose clients include President Barack Obama and Barbra Streisand.
Longtime assistant Holly Warlick will take over for Summitt, who is becoming head coach emeritus. Summitt’s new role will include helping with recruiting, watching practice, joining staff meetings, helping coaches analyze practice and games, and advising the Southeastern Conference on women’s basketball issues and mentoring players.
Summitt also will work as a spokeswoman in the fight against Alzheimer’s.