LSU's tradition, commitment won Caldwell over

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Nikki Caldwell says when she accepted the head coaching job at LSU over the weekend, Pat Summitt was the among the first to call with congratulations.

Comparing Summitt to a proud mom, Caldwell says she maintains the highest respect and affection for her former coach, as well as the program for which she played and coached as an assistant.

Yet Caldwell also speaks enthusiastically about her chance to take down Tennessee and going "toe-to-toe" with Summitt in recruiting as the Lady Tigers' strive for supremacy in the Southeastern Conference.

Caldwell says leaving UCLA was tough, but that she could not pass up the chance to return closer to family to lead a program with as much tradition in the women's game as LSU.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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