This is “We Back Pat” Week. During the week of January 15-22, SEC member institutions will support the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund during their home basketball games.


If you follow Women’s NCAA Basketball, I am certain you’ve heard of Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt. For 38 seasons Summitt has led the Lady Vols from the sidelines in over 1,075 victories and 8 NCAA Championships. 100% of her players who complete their 4 years of eligibility on the court graduate from college. She serves an iron fist and doesn’t back down. But even champions have their weaknesses. At age 59, Summitt faces early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

This farm girl grew up playing ball with a basket on the side of a barn. She’s this year’s Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year and is the winningest coach in NCAA history. But this season she’s pressing on both on and off the court. Last year she announced the start of the Pat Summitt Foundation (Facebook) to find a cure for Alzheimer’s and support organizations who provide:

  • Education and awareness of Alzheimer’s, its onset and treatment
  • Support services to patients, their families and caregivers
  • Research to treat, prevent, cure, and ultimately eradicate this disease

This week, the SouthEastern Conference steps up to back Pat’s endeavors and highlight the work of Summitt Foundation. During the 17 women’s and 12 men’s games this week, efforts will be made to raise Alzheimer’s awareness.

Pat Summitt’s Definite Dozen:

  1. Respect Yourself and Others
  2. Take Full Responsibility
  3. Develop and Demonstrate Loyalty
  4. Learn to Be a Great Communicator
  5. Discipline Yourself So No One Else Has To
  6. Make Hard Work Your Passion
  7. Don’t Just Work Hard, Work Smart
  8. Put the Team Before Yourself
  9. Make Winning an Attitude
  10. Be a Competitor
  11. Change Is a Must
  12. Handle Success Like You Handle Failure

I look forward to watching a Lady Vols game on campus this semester and watching, in person, Summitt do her thing. I Back Pat.