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.
Aug 20, 2014, 5:38 PM EDT
Deville Smith averaged 9.7 points and 2.7 assists in 32 games last season, making 18 starts.
Aug 20, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
Kennard is the No. 19 recruit in the Rivals top 150.
Aug 20, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
Bryn Forbes averaged 15.6 points per game last season, shooting 43.4% from the field and 42.4% from three-point range.
Aug 20, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT
How can Nebraska build on their surprising, successful 2013-2014 season?
Aug 20, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT
Kentucky made the decision not to allow one of their stars to head to Spain for two weeks while they’re supposed to be in class.
Aug 20, 2014, 1:15 PM EDT
Think Jayhawk fans remember the name Ali Farokhmanesh?
Aug 20, 2014, 12:18 PM EDT
This took a while to plan.
Aug 20, 2014, 12:07 PM EDT
The Tigers have zero minutes of experience in their back court.
Aug 20, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT
Indiana now has six commitments in the Class of 2014.
Aug 20, 2014, 10:24 AM EDT
Kampe over came his fear of heights but still got hit with ice water.
Aug 19, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Memphis was 2-2 in Canada.
Aug 19, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT
Ray Kasongo was denied admission from Oregon on July 30, reopening his recruitment.
Aug 19, 2014, 8:10 PM EDT
This new court design is interesting to say the least.
Aug 19, 2014, 7:59 PM EDT
Take a look at what tournaments the Shockers will appear in over the next few years.
Aug 19, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT
Jimmy Whitt is ranked just outside the top 50 in the Class of 2015.
Aug 19, 2014, 4:40 PM EDT
Stephen Zimmerman averaged 17.5 points, 11.5 boards and 2.2 blocks per game in four games at the Nike Global Challenge.
Aug 19, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT
Nicholls State may have a large, orange-clad fan base these days.
Aug 19, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT
It’s how they played through their six games in the Bahamas.
Aug 19, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT
Shaka Smart brings in a perfect piece and that was a priority recruit.
Aug 19, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT
It looks like everyone had a great time.
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