Her family said "the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s Type progresses." Pat Summitt played high school basketball in Cheatham County, became an Olympian and coached the University of Tennessee to eight national championships in a storied career.
The legendary University of Tennessee coach stepped down as the Volunteers' head coach after being diagnosed with dementia.
Pat Summitt gives a hug to UT guard Shannon Bobbitt after winning the SEC Championship game at the Sommet Center on March 9, 2008.(Photo: Shelley Mays / The Tennessean)Buy Photo When Pat Summitt announced in August of 2011 that she had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease, the Tennessee women's basketball coaching legend pointedly said, "It's not going to keep me from living my life." Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ and she did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced.
We are in the process of finalizing the details of a public celebration of her life which will take place in one of her favorite places, Thompson-Boling Arena.
She stepped down after the 2011-12 season to become the program's head coach emeritus.