Thursday, May 31, 2012

SEC to Donate $100,000 to Pat Summitt Foundation Fund

The Southeastern Conference and its member institutions are pleased to announce the donation of $100,000 to the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund to aid in its fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

“Coach Summitt is an integral part the Southeastern Conference’s history and we will be forever grateful for her many contributions to this league and to college basketball” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “We are pleased that the Southeastern Conference can play a part in not only honoring Pat but in helping her reach her goals for The Foundation Fund.”

The purpose of the fund is to provide education and awareness of Alzheimer's, its onset and treatment; support services to patients, their families and caregivers; and research to treat, prevent, cure, and ultimately eradicate this devastating disease.

In addition to the financial contribution, the SEC Women’s Basketball Coaches unanimously supported continued participation in an annual “We Back Pat Week” to be held each January. The week-long initiative, started this previous season and will bring awareness and recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund and the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information or to make a donation to the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund, please visit www.patsummitt.org.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summitt Receives Medal of Freedom

President Barack Obama Recognizes Lady Vol Legend

President Barack Obama presented Tennessee Women's Basketball Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt the Presidential Medal of Freedom Tuesday afternoon at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. Summitt was one of 13 individuals bestowed with our nation's highest civilian honor, awarded to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Summitt was honored along with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, civil rights champion John Doar, singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, physician William Foege, astronaut John Glenn, professor and human rights advocate Gordon Hirabayashi, civil rights, workers and women's advocate Dolores Huerta, Polish Underground officer Jan Karski, Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, novelist Toni Morrison, Israeli President Shimon Peres and retired U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.

"It was a tremendous honor to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom," Summitt said. "I felt incredibly humbled to be sitting among such a distinguished group that has positively impacted our society. It was so great to share this wonderful moment with my friends and family, and this is recognition that I want all of my current and former Lady Vol players and staff, and Tennessee fans to share as well."

COACH SUMMITT'S PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM CEREMONY INTRODUCTION

Pat Summitt's introduction, prior to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom: Pat Summitt is an unparalleled figure in collegiate sports. Over 38 seasons she proudly led the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers to 32 SEC Tournament and regular season championships and eight national titles, becoming the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history. On the court Coach Summitt inspired young women across our country to shoot even higher in pursuit of their dreams. Off the court she has inspired us all by turning her personal struggle into a public campaign to combat Alzheimer's disease. Pat Summitt's strength and character exemplify all that is best about athletics in America.

COMMENTS FROM PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Opening statement from President Obama:
"It is an extraordinary pleasure to be here with all of you to present this year's Medals of Freedom. I have to say just looking around the room, this is a packed house which is a testament to how cool this group is. Everybody wanted to check them out. This is the highest civilian honor that this country can bestow, which is ironic, because nobody sets out to win it. No one ever picks up a guitar or fights a disease or starts a movement thinking, `You know what? If I keep this up, in 2012 I could get a medal in the White House from a guy named Barack Obama.' That wasn't in the plan. That's exactly what makes this award so special. Every one of today's honorees is blessed with an extraordinary amount of talent. All of them are driven but we could fill this room many times over with people who are talented and driven. What sets these men and women apart is the incredible impact they have had on so many people. Not in short, blinding bursts, but steadily over the course of a lifetime. Together, the honorees on this stage and the ones who couldn't be here have moved us with their words. They have inspired us with their actions. They have enriched our lives, and they have changed our lives for the better. Some of them are household names. Others have labored quietly out of the public eye. Most of them may never fully appreciate the difference they have made or the influence they have had. But that's where our job comes in. It is our job to help let them know how extraordinary their impact has been on our lives. So, today we present this amazing group with one more accolade for a life well-led. That is the Presidential Medal of Freedom."

President Obama's introductory comments about Pat Summitt:
"When one doctor told Pat Summitt she suffered from dementia, she almost punched him. When a second doctor advised her to retire, she responded, `Do you know who you are dealing with here?' Obviously they did not. As Pat says, `I can fix a tractor, mow hay, plow a field, chop tobacco, fire a barn and call the cows, but what I'm really known for is winning.' In 38 years at Tennessee she racked up eight national championships, more than 1,000 wins. Understand, this is more than any college coach, male or female, in the history of the NCAA. And more importantly, every player that has gone through her program has either graduated or is on her way to a degree. That's why anybody who feels sorry for Pat will find himself on the receiving end of that famous glare. Or she might punch you. She still is getting up every day and doing what she does best, which is teaching. The players, she says, are her best medicine."

President Obama, reflecting on the impact Pat Summitt has made for women, including his daughters:
"When I think about my two daughters who are tall and gifted, knowing that [because of] folks like Coach Summitt, they are standing up straight and diving after loose balls and feeling confident and strong. Then I understand the impact that these people have had extends beyond me. It will continue for generations to come. What an extraordinary honor to be able to say thank you to them for the great work that they have done on behalf of this country and on behalf of the world."

Pat Summitt Receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom 05/29/2012

Watch Pat Summitt receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Watch Pat Summitt receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom today at 3:25 PM.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

Pat Summitt to receive Tigrett Award at West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation gala



Collegiate sports legend and Head Coach Emeritus of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers Pat Head Summitt will be honored with the Tigrett Award at the 23rd annual West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation’s Charity Gala on Nov. 10, foundation officials announced today.

The Tigrett Award, first given in 2006, was established to honor Jackson native John Burton Tigrett, according to a news release. Tigrett was well known for his world-renowned entrepreneurship and philanthropy. The Tigrett Award was endowed by Fred Smith of FedEx and serves to recognize a Tennessean who has greatly contributed to society through his/her talents and leadership locally, nationally and abroad.

Gala proceeds will benefit Ayers Children’s Medical Center and the Kirkland Cancer Center at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

For reservations, contact Chris Ramey at (731) 984-2142 or Chris.Ramey@wth.org

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summitt receives Pop Warner Female Achievement Award

Tennessee Women’s Basketball Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt was named the recipient of the 2012 Pop Warner Female Achievement Award Saturday night at the 52nd annual Pop Warner All-American Scholastic Banquet at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort.

Each year, Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., the nation’s largest and oldest youth football, cheer and dance organization, honors more than 9,000 of its young athletes as All-American Scholars and recognizes notable professional athletes and industry leaders who serve as role models for Pop Warner’s participants. Pop Warner grants an average of $110,000 in annual scholarships, and in 2012 will award its one-millionth scholarship dollar.

The Pop Warner Female Achievement Award is presented to a woman who has demonstrated remarkable strength of character and leadership to attain achievements in her life that inspire others. Summitt has coached her teams to the most victories in NCAA basketball history over her 38-year career, with a record of 1,098-208, and will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. She is courageously battling early onset dementia - Alzheimer’s Type.

Other honorees included Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who received the Pop Warner Inspiration to Youth Award; former New England Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light, who received the Pop Warner Humanitarian Award; and Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) DeMaurice Smith, who received the organization’s most prestigious award, the Warner Award, named after Glenn S. “Pop” Warner.

“We are honored to recognize such a distinguished group of awardees at this year’s All-American Scholastic Banquet,” said Jon Butler, Executive Director of Pop Warner Little Scholars. “We are proud to share their inspirational stories and hard-earned accomplishments with the Pop Warner community and commend the lasting impact each individual has made on the sports industry.”

Also honored at this year’s banquet were inspirational speaker John O’Leary; and Science Cheerleader founder Darlene Cavalier, recipient of the Pop Warner Cheer Award. NFL Network Broadcaster and Tennessee graduate Charles Davis emceed the event.

Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Langhorne, PA, Pop Warner Little Scholars is the world’s largest youth football, cheerleading and dance organization and the only youth sports organization that emphasizes academics as a prerequisite for participation. Currently there are over 400,000 children in Pop Warner organizations in 43 states, Scotland, Germany, Russia, Japan and Mexico. The NFLPA estimates that 70% of all current NFL Players got their start in Pop Warner programs. For more information on Pop Warner and its programs visit www.popwarner.com, on Facebook or follow Pop Warner on Twitter at @Pop_Warner.

Friday, May 25, 2012

6-3 post player Nia Moore signs with Lady Vols

One of Tennessee's new women's basketball assistant coaches has helped produce a much-needed boost to the Lady Vols' roster.

Nia Moore, a 6-foot-3 post player from Bolingbrook (Ill.) High, has signed with the Lady Vols and will join the team next season.

New coach Holly Warlick heralded the new signee on Twitter on Thursday night by writing, "All Lady Vols fans please welcome Nia Moore to our family!! Newest member of our team!!"

Moore had signed with Illinois and Illini coach Jolette Law last November. Law was fired in March and joined the Lady Vols' staff last month.

Moore said that she got out of her letter of intent with Illinois about two weeks ago.

"I talked to them,'' she said. "I wanted to get released. There was no problem with releasing me."

She signed with UT without first visiting campus.

"I wanted to play for the coach that recruited me," Moore said.

Moore is a three-star prospect who previews as a lanky, athletic rebounder and a capable shot blocker. She played two seasons at Bolingbrook with Lady Vols point guard Ariel Massengale.

Since Isabelle Harrison is UT's only returning post player, Moore will address a glaring need.

"I just want to be a part of this winning program,'' she said. "I like their style of play. I think I can add to that."

Moore is the second player to sign with Tennessee this week. Jasmine Phillips, a 5-11 junior college forward from Louisburg (N.C.) College, joined the Lady Vols on Monday.

Pat Summitt At White House On Tuesday

Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt Will Receive Presidential Medal Of Freedom

On Tuesday, Tennessee Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt will be a guest at the White House, where President Barack Obama will award her a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

According to a release from the Office of the Press Secretary at the White House, the Medal of Freedom is our Nation's highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The Medals will be presented at the White House in an afternoon ceremony.

At the time of her selection, President Obama said, "Coach Summitt is an inspiration - both as the all-time winningest NCAA coach, and as someone who is willing to speak so openly and courageously about her battle with Alzheimer's. Pat's gift has always been her ability to push those around her to new heights, and over the last 38 years, her unique approach has resulted in both unparalleled success on the court and unrivaled loyalty from those who know her and those whose lives she has touched. Pat's coaching career may be over, but I'm confident that her work is far from finished. I look forward to awarding her this honor."

Summitt will be one of 13 individuals honored on Tuesday. The others are Madeleine Albright, John Doar, Bob Dylan, William Foege, John Glenn, Gordon Hirabayashi, Dolores Huerta, Jan Karski, Juliette Gordon Low, Toni Morrison, Shimon Peres and John Paul Stevens.

In her tenure at the helm of the Lady Vols, Summitt produced a remarkable record of 1,098-208 (.840) that includes the most victories in NCAA basketball history. During her tenure, the Lady Vols won eight NCAA titles as well as an amazing 32 Southeastern Conference tournament and regular season championships. Tennessee made an unprecedented 31-consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament and produced 12 Olympians, 20 Kodak All-Americans named to 34 teams, and 77 All-SEC performers. Along with the success on the court, Summitt's student-athletes had tremendous productivity in the classroom, with her program maintaining a 100 percent graduation rate for all Lady Vols who have completed their eligibility at Tennessee.


2012 PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM RECIPIENTS

Pat Summitt In addition to accomplishing an outstanding career as the all-time winningest leader among all NCAA basketball coaches, Summitt has taken the University of Tennessee to more Final Four appearances than any other coach and has the second best record of NCAA Championships in basketball. She has received numerous awards, including being named Naismith Women's Collegiate Coach of the Century. Off the court, she has been a spokesperson against Alzheimer's. The Pat Summitt Foundation will make grants to nonprofits to provide education and awareness, support to patients and families, and research to prevent, cure and ultimately eradicate early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

Madeleine Albright From 1997 to 2001, under President William J. Clinton, Albright served as the 64th United States Secretary of State, the first woman to hold that position. During her tenure, she worked to enlarge NATO and helped lead the Alliance's campaign against terror and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, pursued peace in the Middle East and Africa, sought to reduce the dangerous spread of nuclear weapons, and was a champion of democracy, human rights, and good governance across the globe. From 1993 to 1997, she was America's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Since leaving office, she founded the Albright Stonebridge Group and Albright Capital Management, returned to teaching at Georgetown University, and authored five books. Albright chairs the National Democratic Institute and is President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

John Doar Doar was a legendary public servant and leader of federal efforts to protect and enforce civil rights during the 1960s. He served as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In that capacity, he was instrumental during many major civil rights crises, including singlehandedly preventing a riot in Jackson, Mississippi, following the funeral of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evars in 1963. Doar brought notable civil rights cases, including obtaining convictions for the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and leading the effort to enforce the right to vote and implement the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He later served as Special Counsel to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary as it investigated the Watergate scandal and considered articles of impeachment against President Nixon. Doar continues to practice law at Doar Rieck Kaley & Mack in New York. 

Bob Dylan One of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Dylan released his first album in 1962. Known for his rich and poetic lyrics, his work had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades. He has won 11 Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award. He was named a Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Art et des Lettres and has received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. Dylan was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Arts. He has written more than 600 songs, and his songs have been recorded more than 3,000 times by other artists. He continues recording and touring around the world today.

William Foege A physician and epidemiologist, Foege helped lead the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He was appointed Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1977 and, with colleagues, founded the Task Force for Child Survival in 1984. Foege became Executive Director of The Carter Center in 1986 and continues to serve the organization as a Senior Fellow. He helped shape the global health work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and remains a champion of a wide array of issues, including child survival and development, injury prevention, and preventative medicine. Foege's leadership has contributed significantly to increased awareness and action on global health issues, and his enthusiasm, energy, and effectiveness in these endeavors have inspired a generation of leaders in public health.

John Glenn Glenn is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States Senator. In 1962, he was the third American in space and the first American to orbit the Earth. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Glenn was elected to the U.S. Senate in Ohio in 1974. He was an architect and sponsor of the 1978 Nonproliferation Act and served as Chairman of the Senate Government Affairs committee from 1987 until 1995. In 1998, Glenn became the oldest person to visit space at the age of 77. He retired from the Senate in 1999. Glenn is a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

Gordon Hirabayashi Hirabayashi openly defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. As an undergraduate at the University of Washington, he refused the order to report for evacuation to an internment camp, instead turning himself in to the FBI to assert his belief that these practices were racially discriminatory. Consequently, he was convicted by . ..S. Federal District Court in Seattle of defying the exclusion order and violating curfew. Hirabayashi appealed his conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against him in 1943. Following World War II and his time in prison, Hirabayashi obtained his doctoral degree in sociology and became a professor. In 1987, his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Hirabayashi died on January 2, 2012.

Dolores Huerta Huerta is a civil rights, workers, and women's advocate. With Cesar Chavez, she co-founded the National Farmworkers Association in 1962, which later became the United Farm Workers of America. Huerta has served as a community activist and a political organizer, and was influential in securing the passage of California's Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, and disability insurance for farmworkers in California. In 2002, she founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation, an organization dedicated to developing community organizers and national leaders. In 1998, President Clinton awarded her the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights.

Jan Karski Karski served as an officer in the Polish Underground during World War II and carried among the first eye-witness accounts of the Holocaust to the world. He worked as a courier, entering the Warsaw ghetto and the Nazi Izbica transit camp, where he saw first-hand the atrocities occurring under Nazi occupation. Karski later traveled to London to meet with the Polish government-in-exile and with British government officials. He subsequently traveled to the United States and met with President Roosevelt. Karski published Story of a Secret State, earned a Ph.D at Georgetown University, and became a professor at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. Born in 1914, Karski became . ..S. citizen in 1954 and died in 2000.

Juliette Gordon Low Born in 1860, Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912. The organization strives to teach girls self-reliance and resourcefulness. It also encourages girls to seek fulfillment in the professional world and to become active citizens in their communities. Since 1912, the Girl Scouts has grown into the largest educational organization for girls and has had over 50 million members. Low died in 1927. This year, the Girl Scouts celebrate their 100th Anniversary, calling 2012 "The Year of the Girl."

Toni Morrison One of our nation's most celebrated novelists, Morrison is renowned for works such as Song of Solomon, Jazz, and Beloved, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988. When she became the first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1993, Morrison's citation captured her as an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality." She created the Princeton Atelier at Princeton University to convene artists and students. Morrison continues to write today.

Shimon Peres An ardent advocate for Israel's security and for peace, Shimon Peres was elected the ninth President of Israel in 2007. First elected to the Knesset in 1959, he has served in a variety of positions throughout the Israeli government, including in twelve Cabinets as Foreign Minister, Minister of Defense, and Minister of Transport and Communications. Peres served as Prime Minister from 1984-1986 and 1995-1996. Along with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then-PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Peres won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his work as Foreign Minister during the Middle East peace talks that led to the Oslo Accords. Through his life and work, he has strengthened the unbreakable bonds between Israel and the United States. NOTE: Mr. Peres will not attend the ceremony, as he will receive his Medal at a separate event.

John Paul Stevens Stevens served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010, when he retired as the third longest-serving Justice in the Court's history. Known for his independent, pragmatic and rigorous approach to judging, Justice Stevens and his work have left a lasting imprint on the law in areas such as civil rights, the First Amendment, the death penalty, administrative law, and the separation of powers. He was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Gerald Ford, and previously served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Stevens is a veteran of World War II, in which he served as a naval intelligence officer and was awarded the Bronze Star.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kara Lawson to help fund Pat Summitt Foundation

Former Tennessee star Kara Lawson and the WNBA's Connecticuct Sun will donate $100 to the Pat Summitt Foundation for every 3-pointer Lawson hits this season.

The 59-year-old Summitt announced her retirement from Tennessee in April, eight months after revealing that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia.

Lawson said the donation is a way for her to honor her former coach. She said she'll donate $50 for each made 3-point shot and the team will match that donation.

Lawson hit 55 3-pointers last season, and ranks ninth in league history with 433.

She said she has not talked to the nine other former Volunteers in the WNBA, but would be happy if her donation inspired others in the league to support Summitt's foundation.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Graduation! :)





The incredible graduation rate celebrated by University of Tennessee Lady Vol basketball student-athletes under the guidance of head coach emeritus Pat Summitt for 38 seasons will forever remain at 100 percent.

Two senior Lady Vols hoopsters participating in Spring 2012 commencement ceremonies this week are Briana Bass (Indianapolis, Ind.) who will receive a B.S. degree in Education (majoring in recreation and sport management) and Shekinna Stricklen (Morrilton, Ark.) who will receive a B.A. in sociology. Stricklen, a rookie with the WNBAs Seattle Storm, was able to take a break from training camp and will be attending Friday's graduation festivities.

Fifth-year Vicki Baugh (Sacramento, Calif.) will earn her M.S. in kinesiology and sport studies with a concentration in sports psychology. Baugh is in training camp with the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA and is not expected to attend commencement.

The Lady Vol junior class of Taber Spani (Lee's Summit, Mo.) and Kamiko Williams (Clarksville, Tenn.) will be participating in graduation ceremonies as well. The duo joins Glory Johnson as Lady Vols completing degree requirements in just three years. Spani is a candidate to receive her B.A. in communications while majoring in communications studies and is expected to start graduate school in the Fall. Williams will graduate with a B.A. in sociology and plans to pursue a second degree in psychology as she completes her eligibility next season.

Summitt's son, Tyler, will also receive his B.A. in communications after completing his studies in just three years. Tyler begins his coaching career on May 21 when he reports to work as an assistant women's basketball coach at Marquette University.

Pat Summitt to receive Arthur Ashe Courage Award

Former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, who coached her team last season despite being diagnosed last summer with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type, will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPYs.

Summitt, 59, will be presented with the award at ESPN's annual show, set for 9 p.m. ET July 11.

Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in men's or women's college basketball with 1,098 victories, retired in April after 38 seasons, during which she led the Lady Vols to eight national championships.

Summitt was named head coach emeritus last month; longtime assistant Holly Warlick was named to replace her as coach.

"I am humbled to receive an honor bearing Arthur Ashe's name and to join an amazing group of recipients who have received the Ashe Award at the ESPYs. Besides being an incredible tennis player, I genuinely admired Arthur's honesty, integrity and conviction in all areas of his life on and off the court. I will proudly accept this award," Summitt said in the statement announcing the honor.

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is presented to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. Boxer Dewey Bozella, who was imprisoned 26 years for a murder he didn't commit, before being released in 2009, was the recipient of the 2011 award.

"Pat Summitt's accomplishments as a coach and mentor are unmatched as she has dedicated her life to serving as an inspiration and a motivator for generations of young students and athletes," ESPN executive vice president of programming and acquisitions Norby Williamson said.

"As she enters this next phase of her life focusing on transforming her personal adversity into making an impact on the fight against Alzheimer's, we could not be more proud to honor her as the recipient of the 2012 Arthur Ashe Courage Award," he said.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Miller Lite "Backs Pat" by Raising Awareness and Funds to Honor Coach Pat Summitt

Miller Lite and Lady Vol Network Give Fans Opportunity to Show Their Support and Win Big

Miller Lite is teaming up with the Lady Vol Network, the voice of University of Tennessee women's athletics, to support Pat Summitt in her fight against Alzheimer's by giving Vol and Lady Vol fans a chance to get involved in a number of ways. In conjunction with Cherokee Distributing and Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson, the "Miller Lite Bikers Back Pat" program is selling exclusive t-shirts at local retail locations across Eastern Tennessee, with a portion of the proceeds going to The Pat Summitt Foundation, a component of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

From May through the end of July, legal-drinking-age consumers can purchase Bikers Back Pat t-shirts at their local Food City, Kroger, Walgreens and Pilot convenience stores throughout Eastern Tennessee, or at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson. With a price of $14.99 plus tax, fans nationwide also have the opportunity to purchase these special t-shirts online at www.BikersBackPat.com.

The Miller Lite Bikers Back Pat program will culminate with a grand-finale party and live auction August 9, hosted by Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson and Cherokee Distributing Company. More information about the event and availability of tickets will be offered in June.

The auction will feature a "Tennessee Orange" Harley-Davidson signed by Summitt, valued at $25,000, and a pair of Lady Vol season tickets. In addition, Miller Lite will offer four VIP guest coach passes to one 2012-13 regular season Tennessee Lady Vol basketball game, including access to sit behind the bench during one of the games. For a complete list of all auction items, visit www.BikersBackPat.com.

"Miller Lite loves to give exclusive access to fans, but this program goes far beyond just the experiences," said Bob Scott, MillerCoors general manager-sales for Tennessee and West Virginia. "Coach Summitt is a true inspiration and we are honored to partner with Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson to show our support for coach and her fight against Alzheimer's."

Proceeds from the event will benefit The Pat Summitt Foundation, a component fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund was founded in November 2011 by Pat Summitt and her son, Tyler, to help ensure that no family hears a diagnosis like Pat's: early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. With the motto, "Together, we will win," the grant making foundation will support nonprofits that provide education and awareness; support services for patients, their families, and caregivers; and research, treat, and work to ultimately find a cure. For more information about the Fund, visit www.PatSummitt.org.

Daedra Charles-Furlow not retained; Lady Vols to hire assistant to head coach

Tennessee's Holly Warlick has hired two new assistant coaches and a director of women's basketball operations. And she's still not done with her staff makeover.

Warlick, who replaced legendary coach Pat Summitt on April 18, still has to hire an assistant to the head coach, a role similar to the one held by Stephanie Glance on Summitt's staff to start the 2009-10 season.

While this position has been restored, the director of character development has been eliminated. Former UT player Daedra Charles-Furlow, who held the position, hasn't been retained. Charles-Furlow had been on Tennessee's staff for four years. She came back as an assistant coach before moving into her new role before the 2010-11 season.

Warlick said that she hoped to meet with Charles-Furlow this week.

"I think she wanted to pursue other opportunities," Warlick said Sunday. "I'm extremely supportive of Daedra. She's been good for this program."

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Summitt has mountain named in her honor

Today the highest peak on Jasper Mountain, Tenn., has a new name — Pat’s Summitt after legendary former Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt.

John “Thunder” Thornton, CEO of Thunder Enterprises, dedicated the peak on the new Jasper Highlands development to his long-time friend. In addition, Thunder Enterprises made a $50,000 donation to the Pat Summitt Foundation.

“Pat has touched many people’s lives both on and off the basketball court,” said Thornton. “I am honored to be able to name this peak after her. She is truly an inspiration to many.”

Summitt founded the organization in November 2011 to help other individuals who have been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, and their families. The Foundation offers education and awareness support services, and research to treat, prevent, cure and ultimately eradicate the disease.

“In 38 years, Pat never had a losing season with the Lady Vols, and I know if anyone can lead the fight against Alzheimer’s, it’s her,” said Thornton.

Former Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer was also on hand to show support for his long time colleague and friend.

"I think she's doing wonderfully right now," Fulmer said.

"I think everybody has to appreciate the honesty she had with the whole thing. She's taken a real tough situation and turned it into as positive as it can be. She's touched so many thousands and millions of lives over the years and she's raised the awareness like nobody else could perhaps in our entire country."

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Gender is no longer part of conversation about Pat Summitt

Title IX helped Pat Summitt increase relevance of women's sports by Holly Anderson - SI.com

Click here to read the article.

Another honor for Pat Summitt

The awards continue to come in for Lady Vols Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt.

Tuesday, the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition announced that Coach Summitt is one of five people who received this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award recognizes people whose careers have promoted or advanced physical activity, fitness, sports and nutrition related programs across the country.

Coach Summitt was not able to attend Tuesday's meeting, but her award will be presented to her at a later date.

Warlick era under way in Knoxville

Coach influenced and motivated by dad's love of sports


Click here to read a nice article by Mechelle Voepel.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Law to be LV Hoops Assistant

Tennessee head women's basketball coach Holly Warlick announced today the hiring of assistant coach Jolette Law to the Lady Vol staff.

Law, previously the head coach at the University of Illinois from 2007-12, will join recently hired assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Kyra Elzy and UT veteran assistant Dean Lockwood in filling Warlick's first coaching staff at Tennessee.

"I have known Jolette since she was a high school prepster we recruited out of Florence, South Carolina," said Warlick. "Our Lady Vol teams competed against her while she was a standout player at the University of Iowa, and I've gone head-to-head in recruiting and coaching against her while she was top assistant to Rutgers' Hall of Fame Coach C. Vivian Stringer.

"Besides the X's and O's of the game and her reputation as an excellent recruiter, Jolette is just a great individual and a terrific role model. She will be a great fit for us at Tennessee," Warlick said.

Law, long regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the country, was named the seventh head women's basketball coach at the University of Illinois on May 11, 2007. During her tenure in Champaign, she led the Illini to a pair of postseason appearances while turning heads on the recruiting trail.

"I am extremely excited to be joining the Lady Vol family at the University of Tennessee," said Law. "It will be an honor to work alongside Holly and such a great staff at UT. I am truly blessed to have an opportunity to help continue the legacy that Pat Summitt built. Her program is one I admired and respected for so many years as an opposing coach. It's incredible to be part of the tradition now."

Law went to Illinois following 12 years on Stringer's staff, including her last four as associate head coach. Known as a dynamic recruiter during her time with the Scarlet Knights, Law wasted no time establishing herself as a top recruiter at Illinois.

In November of 2008, she inked the No. 3 recruiting class in the country, the top-rated signing class in Illinois school history. Law followed up the historic 2009 signing class by inking two more top-100 recruits in the 2010 and one more in 2011.

On the court, Law led Illinois to 69 wins in five seasons, including two trips to the postseason WNIT. During her first season with the Illini in 2007-08, she guided the Illini to 20 victories, marking Illinois' first 20-win season since 1999-2000. The Orange and Blue made an historic run in the 2008 Big Ten Tournament, advancing to the championship game but falling just short of an NCAA Tournament bid in losing to Purdue on a buzzer-beater. The Illini earned a 2008 WNIT bid and advanced to the third round.

In 2008-09, Law had a young Illini squad playing its best basketball at the end of the season, as the team finished 6-5 in the final 11 games. That momentum carried over into 2009-10, when the Illini started 7-1 out of the gates and finished the season with 19 wins and a trip to the WNIT quarterfinals. The team finished strong down the stretch in both 2010-11 and 2011-12. During Law's fourth season at the helm of the program, the Illini reached the Big Ten semifinals once again and downed No. 7-seed Wisconsin and No. 3-seed Michigan. Illinois followed up with five wins in the final half of the 2011-12 conference season, including a victory over No. 10 Ohio State, 66-65, at Assembly Hall.

In addition to the team progress, Law helped develop Jenna Smith into one of the premier post players in the country. A 2010 Illinois graduate, Smith became the highest WNBA draft pick in school history when she was taken with the 14th overall pick by the Washington Mystics in the 2010 WNBA Draft. Smith left Illinois as Illinois' all-time leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker, thanks in large part to Law's tutelage.

Before arriving at Illinois, Law made a name for herself as a driving force behind Rutgers' rise to the top of women's college basketball. During her tenure, the Scarlet Knights saw remarkable success, including two Final Fours, three Elite Eights and three Sweet Sixteen appearances, among them the 2007 national championship game in Cleveland versus the Lady Vols.

Rutgers compiled a record of 257-125 (.673) during Law's tenure in New Brunswick, N.J., winning BIG EAST regular season titles in both 2005 and 2006 and the BIG EAST Tournament title in 2007. The Scarlet Knights featured 22 All- BIG EAST honorees, three BIG EAST Defensive Players of the Year and three BIG EAST Rookies of the Year. They also produced seven All-America selections and had eight players drafted in the WNBA during that span.

In addition to her tremendous technical expertise on the sidelines, Law also used her energetic and enthusiastic personality to help Rutgers bring in eight recruiting classes ranked among the nation's top 10 during her tenure, including three classes that were ranked No. 1 in the nation (1999, 2001 and 2006). Players such as Shawnetta Stewart, Usha Gilmore, Tasha Pointer, Tammy Sutton-Brown, Davalyn Cunningham, Rebecca Richman, Chelsea Newton, Cappie Pondexter, Essence Carson and Matee Ajavon, all of whom were drafted by the WNBA, benefited from Law's instruction and motivation on the court.

Law was a high school All-American at Wilson High School before graduating from the University of Iowa in 1990 with a degree in sports studies/corporate fitness. As the Hawkeyes' floor general, she helped Stringer lead the Hawkeyes to four consecutive Big Ten titles and a record of 105-18 from 1987-90. A Kodak District V All-American in 1990, she was a four-year letterwinner at Iowa and a two-time first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection (1989 and 1990). A member of the Iowa Hall of Fame, she still ranked sixth on the Hawkeye career steals list (205) as well as eighth in assists (353) and 20th in scoring (1,137). She also was a member of the 1988 Jones Cup Team.

Following her collegiate career, Law joined the Harlem Globetrotters from 1990-94 as the only current female team member, completing three worldwide tours with the team. As an ambassador of goodwill with the Globetrotters, she coordinated several basketball seminars and clinics in addition to her on-court performances. During her stint with basketball's greatest team, her picture appeared on Wheaties cereal boxes with her Globetrotter teammates.

After her playing career came to a close, Law spent one season coaching at Ball State (1994-95) before joining Stringer at Rutgers.

Law has utilized her skills and talents to create opportunities to participate in various national projects, including the "Great American Workout" with former president George H.W. Bush, the 1992 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Project D.A.R.E. in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Law has made a big impact on her hometown of Florence, S.C. Jolette Law Day was celebrated on Dec. 22, 1990, when she was presented the key to the city. Then in September of 2008, Law was honored the Florence School District One Distinguished Graduate.

THE LAW FILE

Full Name: Jolette D. Law

Birthday: December 7, 1967

Hometown: Florence, S.C.

High School: Wilson High School

College: University of Iowa, 1990

Degrees: Bachelor of Science in sports studies/corporate fitness

Coaching Career

2007-12: Head Coach, University of Illinois

2004-07: Associate Head Coach, Rutgers

1996-03: Assistant Coach, Rutgers

1994-95: Assistant Coach, Ball State

Playing Experience:

Harlem Globetrotters, 1991-94; One of eight females to play on the world-famous team since 1985

University of Iowa, 1987-90; Kodak District V All-American (1990), Two-time All-Big Ten Team (1989, 1990), Jones Cup Team (1988), Four-year letterwinner (1987-90), Member of Iowa Hall of Fame, Led Hawkeyes to four Big Ten Championships

Wilson High School, 1983-86; Three-time All-American, Four-time Athlete of the Year, Only retired jersey (boys or girls), Member of Wilson H.S. Hall of Fame, Member of Florence, S.C., Hall of Fame

Personal:

• Active in several educational and community service projects

• Originated and implemented marketing strategies for the "Jolette Law Future American Camps/Clinics"

• Participated in the Great American Workout with former president George Bush

• Volunteer for United Way' McLeod Children's Miracle Network Telethon; Boys & Girls Club of America and Project D.A.R.E

• Guest speaker at several collegiate basketball camps, luncheons and grade schools

• Member of University of Iowa Basketball Hall of Fame

Tuesday, May 01, 2012