Apr 19, 2012, 9:27 PM EDT
After 38 years on the Tennessee sideline, Pat Summitt’s coaching career came to an end Thursday. The legendary women’s college basketball coach – and the all-time wins leader at any level, men or women – was chipper, cracking jokes and seemed content with her decision.
When you’ve had a run like hers, it’s probably easier than most.
“It was really a great ride for me,” Summitt said. “It has been a privilege to make an impact on the lives of 161 women who have worn orange. I am so proud of them the Lady Vols student athletes and the honor to see them graduate and become successful young women.”This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
It was the proper capstone to a Hall of Fame career, one in which Summitt will still be around the Lady Vols program as head coach emeritus. Some off-court potential remains for Summitt, but this was it.
So. Here’s the question: Is she the best coach in college basketball history?
Take a look at these ridiculous numbers:
- Record: 1,098-208 (84.1 win %)
- Eight national titles
- 18 Final Fours
- 32 SEC regular-season and tourney titles combined
- Never missed an NCAA tournament (29 straight and 27 Sweet 16s)
- Won 47 consecutive games over three seasons
- Not to mention every player who stayed four years graduated
Only a few coaches can compare to that in terms of excellence. (I’m not sure any coach can match Summit’s impact on her sport.) She’s been so good, even Bob Knight and Dean Smith fall short. I’d place these four as her competition:
- Record: 664-162 (80.4 win %)
- 11 national titles
- 12 Final Fours
- 19 regular-season conference titles (did not have league tourney)
- Won 88 consecutive games over four seasons
- Record: 876-190 (82.2 win %)
- Four national titles (one NIT title)
- Six Final Fours
- 40 SEC regular-season and tourney titles combined
- Record: 927-289 (76.2 win %)
- Four national titles
- 11 Final Fours
- 25 ACC regular-season and tourney titles combined
- Record: 804-129 (86.2 win %)
- Seven national titles
- 13 Final Fours
- 37 Big East regular-season and tourney titles combined
- Won 90 consecutive games over four seasons
Wooden has the most titles. Summitt the most wins and Final Fours. Auriemma the best win percentage, Rupp the most combined titles. At this rate, Auriemma seems likely the surpass Summitt in titles and Final Fours, but it should be noted he’s only a year younger than Summitt.
Right now, it’s tough to argue anyone’s done more than Summitt. She’s the best in the women’s game and probably in college hoops. But check back in 10 years. We’ll see where Auriemma and Coach K end up.
But what do you think? Who’s the best college coach of all time?
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
Sep 22, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT
The St. Anthony product is a valuable recruit for each of the remaining schools, as they all have the eventual loss of current seniors to account for.
Sep 22, 2014, 12:39 PM EDT
Having landed commitments from three forwards, the Flyers added a piece for their backcourt on Monday.
Sep 22, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT
The Simeon HS forward officially visited Nebraska this weekend, and both of his parents attended the school as well.
Sep 22, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
Fans have three different designs from which to choose, with the winning option scheduled to be revealed next Monday.
Sep 21, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT
The Tigers, who won 25 games last season, landed their first commitment in the Class of 2015 Sunday night.
Sep 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
With both Pierria Henry and Terrence Williams being seniors, Charlotte needed to add a perimeter player in 2015.
Sep 21, 2014, 9:21 PM EDT
URI head coach Dan Hurley landed his second 2015 commitment Sunday evening.
Sep 21, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT
Danny Manning finally has his first 2015 commitment and the player’s a very important one with regard to the future of the program.
Sep 21, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT
The Vikings have added some depth to their front court for the 2015-16 season.
Sep 21, 2014, 5:14 PM EDT
The Shockers won’t lack for capable leaders this season, and their newcomers have followed the lead of those veterans in the weight room.
Sep 21, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT
A good read on Colorado State’s new senior transfer, Antwan Scott, overcoming family obstacles while still succeeding on the court.
Sep 21, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT
Washington State picked up a commitment from a 2015 forward on Sunday.
Sep 21, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT
A former UC Irvine forward could make his NFL debut on Sunday with the Arizona Cardinals.
Sep 21, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT
Wisconsin picked up a 2015 commitment on Sunday morning.
Sep 21, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
LSU is on the board in the 2017 class.
Sep 21, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
Five-star 2016 guard Kobi Simmons is electric.
Sep 20, 2014, 11:29 PM EDT
Three Mountain West programs and one Big Ten program among the schools on the Las Vegas native’s list.
Sep 20, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT
The elite PG from New Jersey had his first in-person meeting with Kentucky head coach John Calipari on Thursday.
Sep 20, 2014, 6:18 PM EDT
The South Charleston HS floor general was one of the state’s best players last season, and he could prep for a year before joining the WVU program.
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