The Legacy of Pat Summitt 

Pat Summit was an incredible coach to the women’s basketball team at the University of Tennessee. 

An important (one of many) saying of the legendary University of Tennessee famous women’s basketball coach, Pat Summitt was “Right foot, left foot, breathe.” In her 38-year career at UT, Coach Summitt led the Lady Vols to 8 National Championships, 18 NCAA Final Fours, and 32 SEC Championships while having a 100% student-athlete graduation rate. When she retired in 2012, Pat Summitt was the winningest NCAA Basketball Coach in history among women and men and women. 

These achievements led to the formation of a leadership model referred to as “The Definite Dozen” which highpoints what she feels are the values one must-have for success. According to Summitt, “The Definite Dozen is about being attentive to basics, those factors that enable you to satisfy a profound, bigger, and more significant goal.”

  • Respect others and yourself
  • Take full responsibility
  • Demonstrate and develop and loyalty
  • Try to be a great communicator
  • Learn how to control yourself so no one else needs to
  • Make hard work your passion
  • Don’t just work hard, work smart
  • Put the team before yourself
  • Let winning be your attitude 
  • Be a competitor
  • Change is a must
  • Handle success like you handle failure

Quotes from the Summitt – created by the Pat Summitt Leadership Group, is filled with many pearls of Pat’s wisdom. These values can be used in all areas of life, regardless if it is the boardroom or the basketball court. 

Here are a few more of Coach Summitt’s wise words: 

  • Sometimes, saying nothing can be just as powerful.
  • You meet the same people on the way up that you will meet on the way down.
  • It’s crucial to be able to laugh at yourself.
  • Discover what you love to do.

Sadly, Pat Summitt died in 2016 after a long battle with early Alzheimer’s.