Pokey Chatman had plenty of anecdotes to share about her mentor, but she also knew Sue Gunter would've wanted her to keep it short.
"I could go on and on," Chatman said Monday at Gunter's memorial service. "Sue's still the boss today and she wouldn't like that."
About 500 people gathered at First United Methodist Church to say goodbye to Gunter, who died at her home Thursday. She was 66.
Gunter will have one final service with visitation set from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Wilcox Funeral Home in Carthage, Miss. Interment will follow at Mount Zion Cemetery in her hometown of Walnut Grove, Miss.
"I feel really blessed that Sue Gunter was a part of my life," Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt said. "I'm a better person and obviously a better teacher because of her."
Summitt was among several college coaches in attendance along with Jody Conradt of the University of Texas, Kim Mulkey-Robertson of national champion Baylor and former U.S. Olympic coach Billie Moore.
Chatman and ESPN women's basketball analyst and former Olympian Ann Meyers Drysdale both delivered eulogies.
"To all who knew Sue she was the best friend that anybody could ever have," Meyers Drysdale said. "She was a sister, a mother, a daughter to so many. She died so young. We weren't ready for her to die. But there was one lesson that we did learn was that she was ready and she knew it."
More than 20 of Gunters former players from LSU were on hand. Former All-American point guard Temeka Johnson, a member of the WNBA's Washington Mystics, boarded a plane 6:45 a.m. Monday after a late-night televised game.
"I was at the game, but I wasn't there mentally," Johnson said. "My mind was on coach Gunter the entire time, having to come back and say my last good-bye."
Gunter, whose career also included stops at Middle Tennessee State and Stephen F. Austin, concluded her career as the third winningest coach (708-308) in womens basketball history, trailing only Summitt and Conradt. She also ranks third in games coached (1,016) and sixth in 20-win seasons (22).
Gunter has already been inducted into the Womens Basketball Hall of Fame, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. She will be enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in September.
Meyers Drysdale, an All-America guard at UCLA, played for Gunter on the 1976 U.S. Olympic team, the start of a 30-year friendship.
Gunter, then an assistant coach to Moore on the U.S. team, carried a notorious habit for smoking and Meyers tried several time to get her to quit.
"I used to hide them or as soon as she put one in her mouth I would break it," Meyers said. "Then Id steal her lighter or blow out the match."
To which Meyers recalled Gunter saying: "Dammit."