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.
Apr 24, 2015, 10:39 PM EDT
He will be attending law school.
Apr 24, 2015, 8:51 PM EDT
Kaleb Tarczewski decided to return to Arizona earlier in the day.
Apr 24, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT
The fifth banner is now hanging in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Apr 24, 2015, 6:56 PM EDT
DePaul lost a junior guard and a three-star forward (for the second time) on Friday evening.
Apr 24, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT
He’ll be able to play immediately.
Apr 24, 2015, 4:21 PM EDT
The second team All-MAC guard will have two years of eligibility left.
Apr 24, 2015, 2:35 PM EDT
Walker’s career didn’t pan out the way anyone expected, but he’s headed to the pro game after two seasons.
Apr 24, 2015, 2:15 PM EDT
Who’s going pro? Who’s returning to school? Who are we still waiting to hear from?
Apr 24, 2015, 1:52 PM EDT
A roster that will be both young and talented returns its leader as Dunn will be back for another season.
Apr 24, 2015, 1:14 PM EDT
It was reported earlier this week that Newman would be headed to Starkville, and he made it official Friday afternoon.
Apr 24, 2015, 12:55 PM EDT
The return of “Zeus” means that Arizona will have one returning starter from last year’s 34-4 team.
Apr 24, 2015, 12:16 PM EDT
The return of Buddy Hield pushes previously unranked Oklahoma into our way too early rankings.
Apr 24, 2015, 11:34 AM EDT
The reigning Big 12 Player of the Year has some unfinished business to attend to next season.
Apr 24, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT
Poythress played in eight games before suffering a torn ACL in practice.
Apr 24, 2015, 9:35 AM EDT
Sterling Smith averaged 13.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game at Coppin State last season.
Apr 23, 2015, 9:22 PM EDT
Long averaged a double-double for the third consecutive season in 2014-15. He’ll hang around to make a run at a fourth.
Apr 23, 2015, 8:01 PM EDT
Johnson led the Wildcats in scoring last season while also averaging 6.5 rebounds per contest.
Apr 23, 2015, 6:50 PM EDT
Minnesota had a need for added depth on the wing, and the addition of Ahmad Gilbert helps in that regard.
Apr 23, 2015, 5:01 PM EDT
A second team All-Summit League selection last season, Billbury will be eligible immediately for VCU.
Apr 23, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT
Wallace led the Golden Bears in points, rebounds and assists last season.
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