Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lady Vol Coach Pat Summitt Named Finalist For Prestigious Naismith Coaching Award

Atlanta, Ga. - After leading her team to a record 20th No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, University of Tennessee Lady Vol basketball coach Pat Summitt was named one of four finalists for the prestigious Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year award by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Third-ranked Tennessee (30-2 overall) claimed the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles for the first time since 2000, and the Lady Vols were the first SEC school to pull off the super sweep in a decade. The Lady Vols won their 15th SEC regular season title and the 14th SEC Tournament title in 2009-10. She will be leading Tennessee into to its 29th NCAA Tournament this weekend, the only school to have appeared in all 29 championships.

Summitt has won the Naismith Women's College Coach of the Year five previous times. She claimed the honor after winning the 1987, 1989 and 1998 national championships. Summitt also earned the award in 1994 and 2004.

The other finalists are Connecticut's Geno Auriemma, Nebraska's Connie Yori and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer.

The finalists were voted on by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's National Voting Academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country.

ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Old Dominion's Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women's Naismith Trophy in 1983.

The Naismith Award has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year, Men's and Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.

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