NEW YORK -- At an intimate lunch Tuesday at the New York Athletic Club, celebrated basketball coach Pat Summitt received the NYAC’s Winged Foot Legends’ Award in recognition of her unparalleled athletic achievements and the positive impact she has had on the lives of student athletes.
“We are privileged that Coach Summitt has accepted our Legends’ Award,” stated James W. O’Brien, Chairman of the Winged Foot Award Committee. “If there is any coach who merits the title ‘legend,’ it is certainly she.”
From 1974 to 2012, Summitt coached the women’s basketball team at the University of Tennessee, amassing a stunning 1,000-plus victories and never enduring a losing season. She is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, men or women, in any division. During her career with the Lady Vols, Summitt’s teams captured eight NCAA national championships, a record second only to the 10 titles won by UCLA men’s coach, John Wooden.
In 2000, Coach Summitt was named the “Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century.” In 2009, the Sporting News placed her number 11 on its list of the “50 Greatest Coaches of All Time” in any sport; she was the only woman on the list. In April, 2012, the White House announced that Coach Summitt would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.
“To be the recipient of the NYAC’s Winged Foot Legends’ Award is quite humbling,” commented Summitt. “I find myself in the company of six very distinguished gentlemen, several of whom I consider dear friends, and who have certainly made their mark on the game of basketball. Over the years, I have learned that you win in life with people. Life is much about relationships, and throughout my playing and coaching careers, I was blessed to be surrounded by incredibly talented student-athletes, coaches, staff members and the University of Tennessee Knoxville and Martin campuses that supported me. It has been an amazing journey and to receive this award from the NYAC is a very special honor for me.”
The Winged Foot Award was initiated in 1996 to honor the winning coaches from the NCAA basketball tournaments. The Winged Foot Legends Award was instigated to recognize coaches and other individuals who have been especially influential within the sport of college basketball. Previous Legends have been Dean Smith, John Wooden, Lou Carnesecca, Al Maguire, Ray Lumpp and Bob Knight.
For further information regarding the Winged Foot Award and the Winged Foot Legends’ Award, please contact Pat Downey, New York Athletic Club, at (212) 767-7043.