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The Dagger

Pat Summitt’s friends, peers and former players react to her retirement

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Pat Summitt (Getty Images)

Legendary Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt retired Wednesday after 38 years coaching the Lady Vols. Here's a look at how some of her former players, friends and peers reacted to the news:

In the 4 years I played for her, Pat Summitt taught me more about life than ball. That's the difference between a good coach and a legend. I'll never forget freshman year when Pat gave me the birds and the bees talk...lol. "Anosike...if you give him the milk he aint gon want the cow!" -Pat Summitt — Former Tennessee center Nicky Anosike (Twitter)

"Coach Summitt is the reason I am a coach and why I am here (at LSU) today. She gave me an opportunity to go into coaching as a graduate assistant in 1998. More importantly, she has always been there for me since I was 18 years old. She's my mentor, my friend and a part of my family and that will last forever. She has been a pioneer in opening doors for women in so many areas. Those who have played or coached for Coach Summitt always take a part of her with us wherever we go in our respective jobs. — LSU women's coach Nikki Caldwell (Statement)

"Pat's vision for the game of women's basketball and her relentless drive pushed the game to a new level and made it possible for the rest of us to accomplish what we did. In her new role, I'm sure she will continue to make significant impacts on the University of Tennessee and on the game of women's basketball as a whole." — UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma (The Associated Press)

"4 yrs removed from UT I still hear "PARKER REBOUND!" in my head during games ... Thanks Coach Pat, I love you! #OnceALadyVolAlwaysALadyVol" — Former Tennessee forward Candace Parker (Twitter)

I actually think it's a great opportunity. It takes a lot of stress off of Pat but at the same time it keeps her around the program, it keeps her around the game and it keeps the fans coming. They love Pat Summitt. They like seeing us play, they enjoy the Lady Vols and the rest of the coaches, but they love Pat Summitt and that's why they keep coming. I'm just so glad she gets to stay around our program. — Former Tennessee forward Glory Johnson (WBIR)

"I'll never forget my sophomore year, @patsummitt gave our pre-game speech before playing rival Florida... She had me too hype!! #LEGEND" — Former Tennessee football player Donte' Stallworth (Twitter)

"Through the dedication and selflessness Pat Summitt has shown at the University of Tennessee, she has made an immeasurable impact both on and off the basketball court during her Hall of Fame career. The strength and perseverance that have defined her as a coach, mentor and role model were never more visible than through the incredible courage she displayed this past season. Without question, Pat is one of the strongest people I know. It is no surprise that she has not backed down from a challenge. I have always had a great deal of respect and admiration for Pat, and I am truly honored to call her a friend. I look forward to watching her continue to inspire others in her new role at the University of Tennessee." Former Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning (Statement)

"Words cannot adequately describe the extraordinary career that Pat Summitt has had in the world of basketball. She is a model of class and courage, and I don't think that enough can be said for just how much Pat has accomplished in building and elevating women's basketball to its current heights. Pat is Tennessee Basketball. I am very happy that Pat will be continuing her work with Tennessee as Head Coach Emeritus, and I will miss seeing her on the sidelines on game day." — Stanford women's coach Tara VanDerveer (Statement)

When Coach Summitt told me of her decision last week I wasn't sad. I just wanted to her to do what was best for her and her family. #respect My book and media tour just turned into a circus. My voicemail now full. I had a full schedule but now everyone is wanting to talk bout Pat. — Former Tennessee forward Chamique Holdsclaw (Twitter)

"Love and s/o to the AMAZING Pat Summitt! What she did for the game will live forever. Changed lives daily. She'll be missed. #gamechanger" — LeBron James (Twitter)

"When she decided, that wasn't too long ago, but we had to come up with the exact role of what she would do. There were a lot of discussions with a lot of people. Mom and I both know Holly (Warlick) will do a wonderful job (as UT's new coach). The biggest thing is Mom wanted to mentor the players off the court, because she believes succeeding in life is ultimately more important than the success on the court, and she felt this was what was best for the program.'' — Pat's son, Tyler Summitt (Knoxville News-Sentinel)

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