When I heard the news this weekend that legendary Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt was declining and likely didn’t have much time left, I was hit with a sudden gut punch of sadness. For decades I watched Coach Summitt pace the sidelines with her intense stare and unbreakable passion of the game of basketball. She wanted to win every game, every time, with no exception and worked her butt off to achieve perfection.
As a UConn fan, I was conditioned to hate the hideous orange of the Tennessee Lady Vols. UConn/Tennessee was one of the greatest rivalries in sports throughout the ‘90s and ‘00s and without a doubt the greatest rivalry in women’s college basketball history. When Geno Auriemma and Pat Summitt faced off, they were must-watch matchups on national TV at a time when very little women’s college basketball was on national TV. They were games you planned your schedule around.