Saturday, August 29, 2009

Warlick, Caldwell to host fund-raiser

Champions for a Cause co-founders Holly Warlick and Nikki Caldwell will host their fundraiser: b3 – bikes, basketball, & breast cancer – on Friday, Sept. 11, at 6:00 p.m. at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

b3 is a special fall event featuring food, live and silent auctions and a musical performance by country recording artist Matt Stillwell. Special honorees will be Pat Summitt – the head coach of Tennessee women’s basketball will receive the 2009 Inspirational Award – and Bobby Denton, longtime country music radio mogul at WIVK and public address announcer for Tennessee football, who will receive the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Admission to the breast cancer fundraising event at the WBHOF in Knoxville, Tenn., is $100.

“We are excited to bring the b3 event to Knoxville,” said Holly Warlick, the associate head coach at Tennessee. “Nikki and I have received such great community support for our Cruisin’ rides – it will be fun to share this event at home.”

For Nikki Caldwell, who is from nearby Oak Ridge, Tenn., it is also a chance for some of the UCLA fans and supporters in town to stop by and attend the event. Caldwell, a former Lady Vol player and assistant for Summitt before taking the UCLA helm, will be in town with the Bruin football team.

“It worked out perfectly to host our event the same weekend that the Bruins were in Knoxville to play the Vols,” said Caldwell, who will begin her second season as the UCLA head coach. “Holly and I have ridden our motorcycles coast-to-coast, and from Knoxville to Key West and New Orleans. It will be great to have a fundraiser at the Hall of Fame.”

Additionally, there will be special guest appearances at the event by UT and UCLA coaching staff members, as the Vols and Bruins meet at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 12, in collegiate football action.

Since its inception, Champions has raised and donated tens of thousands of dollars to help support the fight against breast cancer through a number of signature events: Cruisin’ for a Cause – a long haul motorcycle ride; Links Fore the Cure – a women’s golf tournament; and b3 – bikes, basketball & breast cancer – a dinner and auction. The money raised through these events supports efforts such as the University of Tennessee Breast Health Outreach Program, Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund and The Wellness Community of East Tennessee.

Warlick and Caldwell, a pair of Lady Vol basketball alums, got together and started Champions for a Cause in 2007. It is a non-profit (501(c)-3) fundraising organization with a mission to advance and support the cause of charitable organizations who advocate and act to better the quality of life and health for individuals at risk or in need.

Space for the b3 evening is limited. To register for the event go online to: Champions for a Cause.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Coach Summitt tips off United Way drive

Lady Vols coach says smiles can help reach $2,250,000 goal

Tennessee Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt encouraged volunteers and supporters to meet their community goal and “win a championship for United Way” at the organization’s Annual Campaign Kickoff Tuesday afternoon.

The event, which traditionally begins the United Way of Bradley County campaign, was held at the Peerless Road Church of God of Prophecy. Over 470 people in attendance heard early pledge reports from Pacesetter and Challenger firms that put United Way donations for this year’s campaign at $904,279.

The 2009 United Way campaign goal is $2,250,000.

Coach Summitt said United Way of Bradley County can reach that goal if everyone thinks about what an impact they can make on a person’s life by making a donation.

“Put a smile on your face, and give a little bit more and you can make a huge difference here,” she said.

This was the second time Coach Summitt has spoken at the United Way of Bradley County kickoff luncheon. Three years ago, she addressed a group of United Way supporters, starting off with a rendition of “Rocky Top.” On Tuesday, she officially struck the gavel beginning the campaign to a sea of streamers and confetti launched from different corners of the church gymnasium.

She spoke of the love she has for United Way and told supporters at Tuesday’s luncheon that United Way is her No. 1 charity. In fact, she and then Vols’ coach Kevin O’Neill co-chaired the United Way of Greater Knoxville campaign in the mid 1990s.

“I remember going to the agencies, and returning with a tear in my eye every time. These visits were life changing for me,” she said.

Coach Summitt, who is the winningest coach in college basketball history, said while she will be remembered for her coaching prowess, she also wants to be remembered as someone who cared for others, and United Way is a great means of showing that compassion.

“That’s how you should want to be remembered … how you invest in others,” she said. “I am asking all of you to invest in Cleveland in a positive way by helping United Way.”

United Way of Bradley County Board Chairman Stephen Crass thanked Coach Summitt for “encouraging all of us to make a difference with this campaign. We know that the results will be impressive, in spite of our challenges this year.”

Several of the early campaigns reported partial totals, as their campaigns are still in progress. Others reported totals that exceeded their 2008 pledges. Each of these companies will be recognized at the United Way of Bradley County’s first report luncheon on Sept. 16.

Companies servings as Pacesetter and Challenger firms include Whirlpool Cooking, Whirlpool eXperience Center, Cormetech, Manufacturers Chemicals, Brenda Lawson & Associates, Athens Federal Community Bank, Bank of Cleveland, BB&T Bank, First Tennessee Bank, Regions Bank, Southern Heritage Bank, SunTrust Bank, United Community Bank, Easy Auto/Sunrise Acceptance, SkyRidge Medical Center, Peyton’s Southeastern, Procter & Gamble/Duracell, Cleveland Utilities, Cleveland City Schools, Bradley County Schools, Lee University and Life Care Centers of America.

“Most of these companies are still in the process of holding their meetings so they do not have the final results today; they will help us set the pace, however, and we encourage all of our companies and individuals to get their own campaigns started and make a difference in the lives of thousands of service recipients in our community,” Crass said.

He added that he hoped supporters would “thoughtfully give to help our neighbors. This will be a very difficult campaign with the troubles in our economy and that is even more reason why we all need to help a little bit more.”

This year’s campaign is chaired by Darlia Conn, Janey Cooke, Dan Cooke and Dr. Paul Conn. Rather than the married couples working as team leaders, campaign divisions are divided between the women and the men.

Their campaign division chairs will be announced soon, and will give division results at the Sept. 16 report luncheon.

Tuesday’s kickoff luncheon was hosted by the Cleveland Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club of Cleveland.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thompson, Yow, Curran selected for Lapchick Awards

Former Georgetown coach John Thompson, the late Kay Yow and high school coaching legend Jack Curran were selected Wednesday to receive the second annual Lapchick Character Awards.

The three will be honored at a luncheon at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 19, it was announced Wednesday.

The award, started by a group including Joe Lapchick biographer and former player Gus Alfieri, recognizes coaches who have shown the character traits and coaching skills of the Hall of Famer who coached St. John's and the New York Knicks.

Thompson led Georgetown to three Final Four appearances, including the 1984 national championship, the first won by a black head coach. All but two of the 78 players who stayed four years with him at Georgetown received a diploma (97 percent). His son, John III, is the current coach at Georgetown.

Yow had a successful coaching career at North Carolina State, leading the Wolfpack to the Final Four in 1998. But it was her 22-year fight with breast cancer that became her legacy and she helped to raise funds for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Yow and Thompson, both members of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, were the U.S. Olympic coaches in 1988, the women winning the gold medal, the men the bronze.

Curran will begin his 52nd season at New York City's Archbishop Molloy High School where he has won more than 900 games, the New York State record, five city championships. He helped almost 500 players receive athletic scholarships, including Kevin Joyce, Kenny Smith and Kenny Anderson. He has won more than 1,600 games and 17 city titles as Molloy's baseball coach.

St. John's Athletic Director Emeritus Jack Kaiser will be honored for his support of the Lapchick Award committee. Kaiser, one of the founders of the Big East Conference, is the only man to play for and coach under Lapchick.

The inaugural group of Lapchick honorees was Hall of Famers Pat Summitt, Lou Carnesecca and Dean Smith.

The award is sponsored by Nike, D'Agostino Supermarkets and HHI Hotels.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lady Vols release hoops schedule

Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas, UCLA and Stanford are among the team's 2009-10 foes.

The University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers released the basketball schedule for the 2009-10 season today.

In addition to the expanded Southeastern Conference slate of 16 games, the Lady Vols will also run the gauntlet of powerhouses tangling with Baylor, Texas Tech, Virginia, Middle Tennessee, UCLA, George Washington, Texas, Rutgers, Louisville, Stanford, San Francisco, Old Dominion and Oklahoma on the non-conference side.

"Another competitive schedule for the coming year," said Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt, who is beginning her 36th season at Tennessee and is the NCAA's all-time winningest coach starting the campaign with a 1,005-193 overall record. "This schedule is exciting and challenging and will help to prepare us for post-season play."

In the first month of the season, Tennessee will appear in three "Classics." The Lady Vols will play host to Baylor in the regular season opener in the State Farm Classic on Nov. 15 in Knoxville; travels to San Antonio, Texas, site of the 2010 NCAA Final Four on Nov. 17 to face Texas Tech in the ESPN Classic, and concludes the cavalcade of "Classics" at the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York on Dec. 13 facing rival Rutgers.

"Those are three great tests for our team," said Summitt. "I'm excited to be opening at home against Baylor and look forward to taking our team to San Antonio to face Texas Tech and to the Garden to play Rutgers - great teams and exciting venues."

In all, UT will be facing competition from nine different conferences including the Atlantic 10, ACC, Big 12, BIG EAST, Colonial, Pac 10, Southeastern, Sunbelt and West Coast Conferences.

"Once again, I'm thrilled that we'll be playing 17 home dates (including the exhibition games) in our arena. Our young team will certainly benefit from playing in front of our great fans -- they will be treated to a tremendous home schedule," said Summitt.

The season gets underway with a pair of exhibition tune-ups in Knoxville as Carson-Newman comes to town on Nov. 5 and an old foe from the AIAW national scene of the 1970's, Delta State University makes its first appearance at UT in 30 years in a game on Nov. 9. The Lady Vols officially open the season at home on Nov. 15 facing Baylor.

The remainder of the November slate includes a trip to San Antonio to face Texas Tech at the AT&T Center on Nov. 17 and back-to-back road games at Virginia on Nov. 22 and a trip mid-state to face Middle Tennessee on Nov. 25. Former Lady Vol player and assistant coach Nikki Caldwell, now head coach at UCLA, will bring her Bruins to Knoxville on Nov. 28 to round out the month.

Tennessee starts the December portion of its schedule with consecutive home games facing George Washington on Dec. 1 and Texas on Dec. 6 before taking a break for final exams. The Lady Vols will resume playing hoops on Dec. 13 facing Rutgers in Madison Square Garden on Dec. 13. A new first-time opponent for Tennessee will be Louisville, the 2009 NCAA Championship runner-up, when it visits Thompson-Boling on Dec. 16. The Lady Vols will then hit the road for a pair of games traveling to Stanford on Dec. 19 and then swinging up to San Francisco to play former Lady Vol Tanya Haave's Dons on Dec. 22. Following a break for the Christmas holidays, Tennessee concludes the 2009 portion of the schedule with a game against Old Dominion in Knoxville on Dec. 30.

In January, the Lady Vols open the 2010 side of the schedule facing its fourth Big 12 team of the season as Oklahoma comes to Knoxville on Jan. 3 for the final regular season non-conference match-up. Following that game, the SEC portion of the schedule cranks up as South Carolina comes to town on Jan. 7. This season marks the first time since the 2004-05 campaign that the Lady Vols won't play a non-conference foe in the middle of SEC league play.

January continues with road games at Mississippi State (Jan. 10), Florida (Jan. 14), Georgia (Jan. 21), LSU (Jan. 24), and South Carolina (Jan. 31). Other first month home games include Vanderbilt on Jan. 17 and Auburn on Jan. 28. To open the month of February, Arkansas visits Knoxville on the 4th. UT then travels for an ESPN2 "Big Monday" meeting at Vanderbilt (Feb. 8) and to Mississippi (Feb. 11). Other February home dates include Florida (Feb. 14), an ESPN2 "Big Monday" meeting with LSU (Feb. 22), Kentucky on Feb. 25 and Mississippi (Feb. 28). The other February road trip is a jaunt to Alabama (Feb. 18).

In the new expanded 16-game SEC schedule, the Lady Vols play home-and-home games with Florida, LSU, Mississippi and South Carolina this season, to go along with its annual home-and-home traditional rival contests versus Vanderbilt.

"The SEC - from top to bottom -- will be as strong and unpredictable as it has ever been," professed Summitt. "Great coaches and some incredible young talent is going to make a tough league, even tougher. To be sure, the SEC schedule will be extremely challenging."

In the postseason, the 2010 SEC Tournament will venture back to popular Duluth, Ga., Mar. 4-7. When the height of March Madness begins and the NCAA Tournament is announced on Mar. 15, four teams will be heading to Thompson-Boling Arena as women's basketball fans will be treated to NCAA First/Second Round action in Knoxville, Tenn., Mar. 20 & 22.

Other NCAA First/Second Round games will be played at 15 additional sites from Mar. 20-23. The NCAA Regional Championships will be contested, Mar. 27-30 and the season will culminate with the 2010 NCAA Final Four at the Alamodome, in San Antonio, Texas, April 4 & 6.

View/download schedule by clicking here.

Coaching Legend Pat Summitt to Speak at Dream Game

Pat Summitt, the legendary Head Coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team, will address fans following the Dream's game on August 23 against the Los Angeles Sparks. Four of Summitt's former players will be competing in the game-Chamique Holdsclaw and Michelle Snow of the Dream and Candace Parker and Shannon Bobbitt of the Sparks.

Tip-off is scheduled for 3 pm on Sunday, August 23 at Philips Arena as the Dream square off against the Los Angeles Sparks. Summitt will be honored by the Dream during halftime for her numerous accomplishments and contributions to the game. The Lady Vols head coach since 1974, Summitt has won eight NCAA championships and recently became the first NCAA Division I coach (men or women) to reach 1,000 victories in her career. During her tenure, her Lady Vols teams have produced 12 Olympians, 19 Kodak All-Americans on 33 teams, 10 first-round WNBA Draft selections, and 30 WNBA players.

A limited number of tickets are still available for the game. Sunday's game is the only time the Sparks will travel to Atlanta during the regular season and will mark Lisa Leslie's final game in Atlanta. Leslie, the three-time WNBA MVP, announced earlier this year that this will be her final season in the league.

The Dream are currently in second place in the Eastern Conference (includes games through August 17). The top four teams from each conference go to the playoffs. Atlanta's next game is Thursday, August 20 against Becky Hammon and the San Antonio Silver Stars. Tickets for all Atlanta Dream home games are still available, starting as low as $10. For more information and to purchase season tickets, fans can call 404.604.2626 or visit Single game tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-877-WNBA-TIX, at, at the Philips Arena box office and at all Ticketmaster outlets.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summitt Featured in Women in Business Magazine

University of Tennessee coach Pat Summitt is featured in the August/September issue of Women in Business®, a magazine devoted to topics relevant to working women, including articles about leading women in this country. It is beneficial to learn from women who have succeeded in their careers, and what insights they offer which may inspire other women to reach for their goals.

Click the image below to view the article.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lady Vols basketball player going home from Drake Center

Amber Gray, 19-year-old forward for the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team, is going home from Drake Center Tuesday, August 11.

Gray underwent elective surgery on July 2 at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Knoxville to repair her rotator cuff. Post-surgery complications led to the discovery of an unrelated brain aneurysm that began to hemorrhage, causing a stroke. She was flown to University Hospital in Cincinnati where renowned neurosurgeon Mario Zuccarello, M.D., of the Mayfield Clinic and the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute performed a 12 ½ hour surgical procedure to clip the aneurysm.

Gray was admitted to Drake Center on July 23 for rehabilitation to help build her strength, and improve walking and swallowing. She is being discharged 2 ½ weeks sooner than expected, and will begin a sports rehab program.

Gray’s mother, Tonya Carter, believes the miracle of this experience is that having the rotator cuff surgery may have saved her life since it led to the discovery of the aneurysm in the best possible surroundings. “Some people are born with aneurysms, and they don’t find out until it’s too late,” she said.

Clinicians at Drake are attributing Gray’s early discharge to her strong spirit and positive attitude, and her coach and teammates say her illness has brought them closer together. “Amber is family,” said Lady Vols Coach, Pat Summitt.

Others attending the news conference are: Amber’s mother, Tonya Carter and Drake physician, Mark Goddard, M.D., Medical Director for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Gray is a high school All-American (Lakota West High School) from Mason, Ohio.

She played in 27 games as a freshman for the Lady Vols last season.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Pat Summitt to kick off United Way campaign

Coach Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in college basketball history, will be helping United Way of Bradley County kickoff its annual campaign on Aug. 25 at the organization's Campaign Kickoff Luncheon.

This luncheon will be held for the first time at Peerless Road Church of God of Prophecy and is the traditional beginning of the United Way of Bradley County campaign.

Peerless Road Church of God of Prophecy is located at the intersection of Peerless Road and Raider Drive.

Coach Summitt enters her 36th season as coach this year, having recorded more than 1,000 collegiate wins. Her Lady Vols have been crowned National Champion eight times, including most recently back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008.

During her tenure at UT, Summitt's teams have also produced 27 Southern Conference tournament and regular season championships, have made an unprecedented 28 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament and produced 12 Olympians, 19 Kodak All-Americans named to 33 teams, 72 All-SEC performers, 45 international participants and 43 professional players representing the ABL, WNBA or overseas teams.

Along with success on the court, Coach Summit has a 100 percent graduation rate for all Lady Vols who have completed their eligibility at Tennessee.

This will be Coach Summitt's second appearance at a United Way of Bradley County kickoff luncheon.

"We were honored to have Coach Summitt help us kick off our campaign back in 2006 and are pleased that she has agreed to return and get us off to a great start for the 2009 United Way campaign," said United Way of Bradley County Board Chairman Stephen Crass.

Crass was a campaign co-chair the year Summitt first spoke at a United Way kickoff.

"This is so special because Coach Summitt makes very few appearances away from the Knoxville area for such events, but has such a commitment to United Way that she agreed to help us again get our campaign off to a great start," he noted.

Coach Summitt cochaired the United Way campaign in Knoxville in 1996 and continues to be an active spokesman for United Way. When she served as co-chair for the United Way of Greater Knoxville campaign, she gave hundreds of speeches and logged incredible amounts of time visiting the various United Way agencies, while also involved in recruiting, running camps and continuing to direct the most successful program in the nation.

She also has worked with The Race for the Cure, Juvenile Diabetes, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Easter Seals, and American Heart Association and American Lung Association. In 1996, she was named "Distinguished Citizen of the Year" by the Great Smoky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America, a United Way agency.

"Coach Summitt has such a busy schedule as coach of the Lady Vols, that it is amazing to see how much she gives back to the community," Crass added. "Her dedication to helping those in the community who receive help through United Way agencies is an inspiration to all of us that we too can take time out of our busy schedules and help others."

Along with the visit from Coach Summitt, the kickoff luncheon will also feature presentations from Pacesetter and Challenger firms, both of which conduct early campaigns and report their totals at that time. Challenger firms also pledge to attempt to raise 10 percent more in contributions than the previous year's campaign.

The meeting will begin at noon, but food lines for the luncheon will open at 11:15 a.m., and with a large crowd expected, organizers suggest arriving early. Tickets are $15 each.

Reservations are required for the luncheon, and may be made, by mail, by writing the United Way of Bradley County at P.O. Box 193, Cleveland, TN 37364-0193, by fax at 339-1110, by e-mail at or by calling the United Way office at 479-2020 or 472-9876.

Deadline for reservations is Aug. 18.

The kickoff will be co-hosted by the Rotary Club of Cleveland and the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland and will be considered a regular meeting for those organizations.