Summitt The Peak

By Jeff Lippman - December 15, 2006

If Bobby Knight and Pat Summitt walk into a bar, who gets recognized first? No, the bar is not located anywhere near Knoxville.

No bar patrons were hurt during the making of this question.

Obviously the answer is Bobby Knight, as he may be the most recognizable collegiate coach in history. But, just two wins away from topping legend Dean Smith to become the winningest coach in Division I men's basketball history, it is the way Knight has done it that is most bothersome to me.

Everybody knows about Knight's troubles over his long 41-season career. Within that span, Pat Summitt has amassed some incredible numbers of her own and has never made waves or ever been accused of doing wrong by her players.

Ready for these numbers?

Summitt is the proud owner of 923 collegiate wins, more than any other coach, male or female, in history.

But Summitt has been around forever! As I said before, Knight has used 41 seasons of coaching to reach 877 wins, Summitt has 46 more wins in only 32 seasons as UT's coach. I repeat, 46 more wins in NINE fewer seasons.

If that doesn't impress you, well, than you are damn hard to impress. But I'll try harder.

How about six national championships to Knight's three. Enough? No? OK I saved the best stat for last...

In his 41 seasons as a head coach, Knight has only cut a Final Four rug five times. In Summitt's 32 seasons, she's been to the Final Four--ready? wait for it--16 times! Sixteen trips to the Final Four to Knight's five.

If that didn't impress you, I am not trying anymore, you are a lost cause.

Tennessee's athletic site,, has this to say describing Summitt: "She's an intense, demanding, focused, bright blue steely-eyed competitor who is also a caring, family-oriented person who enjoys a great walk on the beach with the family dog or assembling a good ole southern home-cooked meal for her team."

I defy anyone out there to find any statement, quote, anecdote, etc. that can define any of Bobby Knight's positive traits. I mean, I'm sure he has some.

Something tells me he doesn't cook for his players or enjoy long walks on the beach though. But that's just me.

If the country gives all the attention it does to a coach like Bobby Knight, I think Pat Summitt doesn't receive enough attention. Because she certainly deserves it.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 04:53 PM on December 15, 2006
Comments (8)


Thank you , thank you , thank you .... That's what i am talk'n bout ... Pat SUmmitt is the bomb and she just keeps keeping better all the time ... you didn't mention SOS , or y'all come any time any place. or that she has 23 WNBA players from the ranks of her Collegiate players , or that she has 12 all Americans ... she is a legend and you would be surprised how many people recognize her that are not basketball freaks like my self .. thanks again .. Lady Vol fan in WA

A 100% graduation rate. {Plus, i don't believe she has seen fit to throw a fit. Or a chair. Or to choke a player.

She deserves all the respect in the world.

I believe the most amazing statistic about Coach Summitt is that 100% of her players who have stayed with the program have graduated.

Pat is awesome. UT is fortunate to have her. She has class and poise---things Bill Knight will never have.

TYPO, hysterical, yet it should also be noted instead of, discribing Summit "She's an intense, demanding, focused, bright blue steely-eyed competitor who is also a caring, family-oriented person who enjoys a great walk on the beach with the family dog or assembling a good ole southern home-cooked MEAN for her team" the real word is MEAL... although I think an ingredient could be "mean"... LOL

that was a great article but totally true. Thanks for giving some recognition to a wonderful coach. PAT SUMMITT ROCKS!!!!!!

I too, agree with your assessment of Coach Summit. I would add however in order for the women game and it's coaches to get the recognition due them, the coverage has to get better. Case in point, try as I may I cannot find information on women recruits, leaning etc. The web is overloaded with info on male recruits. This is just one example of exposure deficit disorder. Just a Thought.

I love Pat Summit, also! She is truly the best coach ever. She deserves way more than any other coach. I was so mad when Bobby Knight got his 880 and they kept calling him the winningest coach. No, he is not, Go Coach Summit!!!

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