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.
Oct 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Stanford’s back court depth took a hit this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
Suspensions have been handed down for two James Madison players involved in a fall altercation.
Oct 21, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT
Nebraska has been recruiting the state of Illinois very hard and it paid off with a 2016 commitment.
Oct 21, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT
Kansas State has taken a hit to its front court depth this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT
Florida’s backcourt depth received a big boost this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
Georgia State loses Kevin Ware with a high ankle sprain.
Oct 21, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
American went from ninth in the Patriot League preseason polls to a No. 15 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Safe to say, the Eagles will be viewed much differently this time around with four returning starters.
Oct 21, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
Wyoming becomes a contender in the Mountain West Conference with the return of senior forward Larry Nance Jr.
Oct 21, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
Clemson added a junior college post that could come in and make an immediate impact.
Oct 21, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
The Aggies now have one of the best recruiting classes in the country.
Oct 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
American was the surprise team in the Patriot League a season ago. Can they repeat as league champs?
Oct 21, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
No surprise that Murray State and Belmont are expected to be at the top of the league.
Oct 21, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
L.J. Rose is expected to return around Christmas.
Oct 21, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
The Gators are good enough to win the SEC. They have enough question marks to finish outside the top 25 as well.
Oct 21, 2014, 10:08 AM EDT
That fan looks like he’s enjoying things.
Oct 21, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
These are the players to keep an eye on if you like seeing aerial acrobatics.
Oct 20, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Kansas State is losing a redshirt freshman to transfer.
Oct 20, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
Virginia got a very skilled guard in the 2016 class.
Oct 20, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT
Florida landed an in-state Class of 2015 wing to make it a four-man class.
Oct 20, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
Memphis found a 2016 guard to join center Nick Marshall in the recruiting class.
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