Women's College Basketball

                    === Summitt: 'It's been a privilege' ===
 Knoxville,  TN (Sports  Network) - Pat Summitt reflected on her storied career
 as  women's  basketball coach at  Tennessee on Thursday,  one day after it was
 announced  that she  would  step aside  and  take  a new  role  as head  coach
 emeritus, and called it a "privilege" to spend nearly four decades guiding the
 Lady Vols' program.
 The  all-time wins  leader in college basketball, men's or women's, with 1,098
 victories,  Summitt decided  to call  it a  career nearly  a year  after being
 diagnosed with early-onset dementia.
 "I  felt  like it was time  for me to step  down," she said Thursday at a news
 conference with her son, Tyler, and new coach Holly Warlick at her side.
 Summitt,  after disclosing the diagnosis last August, spent one more season on
 the Lady Vols' bench and guided the team to a record of 27-9, although more of
 the responsibilities were delegated to assistants. Her 38th and final campaign
 ended  with a loss  to eventual national champion Baylor in the Elite Eight of
 the NCAA Tournament.
 "It's  never a good  time, but you have to find the time that you think is the
 right  time and that time is now," Summitt stated when asked when she made the
 decision to call it quits.
 Summitt  took the  reins in 1974, saying  how she was offered the position for
 $250 per month with an opportunity to also teach and earn her master's degree.
 "It  was really a great ride for me," Summitt remarked. "I can tell you I have
 loved my work at the University of Tennessee. It's been awesome. I can say for
 almost  four decades, it's  been a privilege to make an impact on the lives of
 161 women who have worn the Orange."
 In  addition to  a  record of  1,098-208,  the Lady  Vols  won eight  national
 championships  under Summitt, played in five other title games and reached the
 Final Four 18 times.
 "We  have managed  to win  some ball  games and  hang championship  banners in
 Thompson-Boling Arena," Summitt continued. "I made a choice early in my career
 to  challenge myself,  and my game, each  and every day. I will take this same
 attitude  to  my new  role as  head coach  emeritus and  continue to teach our
 players  the same commitment. The success of the Lady Vols will always, always
 She then turned her whistle over to Warlick, placing it around the neck of the
 27-year assistant who also played under Summitt.
 "Holly  has earned this opportunity and I'm still going to be there for her in
 every way," Summitt added.
 In  her new  role, the  59-year-old Summitt  will serve  as a  liaison to  the
 athletic director, will remain involved in on-campus recruiting and serve as a
 personal mentor to players.
 Summitt  was the  head coach  of the  1984 U.S.  Olympic basketball  team that
 captured  a  gold medal  at the Los  Angeles Games. She  was inducted into the
 Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 in her first year of eligibility.
 04/19 15:33:10 ET

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