Reactions as Pat Summitt steps aside

Updated: April 19, 2012, 4:56 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Legendary Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt has stepped aside and is taking the title of "head coach emeritus," resulting in an outpouring of memories from around the sports world:

Twitter reaction from athletes

Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker): 4 yrs removed from UT I still hear "PARKER REBOUND!" in my head during games...Thanks Coach Pat, I love you! #OnceALadyVolAlwaysALadyVol

Nikki McCray (@NikkiMccray15): Pat Summitt is truly a special person. I am so greatful for you in my like and everything you have taught me #thegreatest #trulyblessed

Swin Cash (@SwinCash): Sending out love to Pat Summit and the whole Tennessee family... Her Legacy will forever live on! #ThanksPat

Kelley Cain (@KCain52): It's been an honor to have played for the legendary Pat Summitt. She was not only a coach but a mother figure off the court. Prayers for Pat

Kara Lawson (@karalawson20): Thank You Pat Summitt! #fb

Nkolika Anosike (@nickyanosike): I don't know what to say...

Shyra Ely-Gash (@ShyShy43): I can't even begin to express the impact that Pat Summitt has had in my life as a person n player. THANK YOU, PAT SUMMITT!! I LOVE YOU! #V4L

Nancy Lieberman (@NancyLieberman): Pat Summitt I love u as my teammate, coach, opponent - but mostly my friend! Thx u 4 giving us ur best!#blessings

LeBron James (@KingJames): 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

Robbie Gould (@RobbieGould09): pat summit congrats on a great career and what you have done for women's basketball. Wishing you all the very best

Ramses Barden (@RamsesNYG): Word to Pat Summit for holding it down for collegiate sports for literally generations.

LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12): Hate to see Pat Summitt go she was a great coach.

Derrick Mason (@deemason85): Mens or womens, pat summitt will go out as one of the greatest coaches ever! I truly believe she could have coach men's bb !!

Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore): Icon, role model and legend. Pat Summitt is a true champion of sport and life. #Tennessee

Shane Victorino (@ShaneVictorino): All the best to Pat Summitt...amazing to see what she did over the years to build a winning team!

Coach Sendek (@HerbSendek): Congrats to Coach Pat Summitt on her pioneering and amazing career. Our best wishes are with her.

Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth): I'll never forget my sophomore year, @patsummitt gave our pre-game speech before playing rival Florida... She had me too hype!! #LEGEND

Kirk Morrison (@kirkmorrison): When you Google Women's College Basketball, Pat Summitt's name should be the first name to pop up. Truly a legend and icon. Thanks Pat

Randall Cobb (@rcobb18): Women's basketball won't be the same w/o Pat Summitt. Her numbers don't lie! Many childhood memories of going to watch the teams she coached

Twitter reaction from ESPN/ABC analysts

Dana O'Neil (@dgoneil1): A great coach, a better person. Good luck to Pat Summitt, who defined class and excellence for all of us.

Dick Vitale (@DickieV): Wish Pat Summitt all THE BEST - A GOLIATH in coaching & LIFE. #HALLOFFAMESOLIDGOLD

Cara Capuano (@CapuanoESPN): Those of us who never played for Pat Summitt still learned much from her: class, commitment, generosity & courage. Thanks, Coach. #WeBackPat

Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN): numbers can't explain Pat Summitt's impact but man they're still impressive: 1098 wins, 31 tourney apps, 18 FFs, 8 Nat'l Titles, 7-time COY

Trey Wingo (@wingoz): There will never be another Pat Summitt

Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols): Pat Summitt steps down - named head coach at 22 years old: 8 natl titles, 18 Final Fours, 1,098 wins, countless lives touched & bettered

Jessica Mendoza (@jessmendoza): Sad day #legend: Pat Summitt steps aside as coach of Lady Vols

Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts): Even though #PatSummitt is stepping down as head coach...she will remain a strong presence for the Lady Vols. Much respect and love. XO

Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN): Where would Pat Summitt rank among the greatest basketball coaches in history (women and men included)? Probably somewhere in Top 5.

Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter): Congratulations to Pat Summitt on what has been beyond a Hall-of-Fame career.

Bonnie Bernstein (@BonnieBernstein): Early onset dementia is doing something unthinkable in my mind: forcing Pat Summitt away from coaching on terms other than her own

Linda Cohn (@lindacohn): Legend, Icon, Inspiration. Pat Summitt. Wishing you well. #Summitt #ladyvols

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Released in a statement

Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma: "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 to the game of women's basketball as a whole.

"I am thrilled for Holly as this opportunity is well deserved and Pat will be a huge asset to her moving forward."

Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw: "While I'm certainly sad to hear that Pat is stepping down as the head coach at the University of Tennessee, I think today is really a time to celebrate Pat's amazing accomplishments and everything she has done to help bring the sport of women's basketball to where it is today. The word 'legend' can sometimes be overused in sports, but in Pat's case, that's exactly what she is. Pat has set the bar so high for all of us, not only with the success her teams have enjoyed on the court, but the way she has carried herself off the court, with such class, dignity and grace."

New Tennessee women's basketball coach Holly Warlick: "I'm very thankful for all Pat Summitt has done to prepare me for this opportunityk. She is my coach, mentor, and great friend, and I am honored with the opportunity to continue and add to the great tradition of this program. I'd like to thank Dave Hart, Chancellor Cheek, and the University for having confidence in me to lead the Lady Vol program, and we will work as hard as we possibly can with the goal of hanging more banners in Thompson-Boling Arena."

Stanford women's basketball coach Tara VanDerveer: "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.

"This will be a great opportunity for Holly, Tennessee Basketball is in great hands with her. Holly has learned from the absolute best, and I wish her the best of luck."

Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers (during Wednesday's postgame news conference): I didn't want to get emotional; I'm an emotional person and when you see a giant like that leave the game, and leave the game because of health, it's just sad. But she is responsible for women's basketball.

"But she is not just a women's basketball coach, she's a great coach. And you know, I'm in this and the longer I'm in this I just realize how much coaching means to all of us. You think about it today: Pat Summitt is [stepping down] at her age and Larry Brown is taking a job at his age. And it just tells you how much it's in your blood and how much you love it. And for her not to be able to do it, to me is very sad."

Tennessee director of athletics Dave Hart: "It is extremely difficult to adequately express what Pat Summitt has meant to the University of Tennessee, the sport of basketball, and the growth of women's athletics nationally. She is an icon who does not view herself in that light, and her legacy is well-defined and everlasting. Just like there will never be another John Wooden, there will never be another Pat Summitt. I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role. She is an inspiration to everyone."

Denver Broncos quarterback and former Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning: "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."

LSU women's basketball coach and former Tennessee player Nikki Caldwell: "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. I've taken her with me in teaching young ladies to be the very best they can be. Her influence on this game, the University of Tennessee and the Southeastern Conference will always be impactful. That will continue in any role she plays."

Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer: "It just hits me in my heart, it really does. I feel so connected to Pat, as we've been together so long on the same journey as coaches and friends. This is a really sad day for me. I love Pat so much, but this isn't the way her amazing career should end."

USA Basketball CEO/executive director Jim Tooley: "Basketball in general, not just women's basketball, owes so much to Pat Summitt. She is obviously one of basketball's all-time greats. She has played a significant part on three different U.S. Olympic Teams, as a player, assistant coach and head coach, and she has taught so many young players about life through basketball. Coach Summitt's legacy is seen every summer when USA Basketball fields teams for international basketball competitions. From the junior to the senior level, some of her current or former players are almost always listed on USA Basketball rosters."

ESPN president and co-chair, Disney Media Networks, John Skipper: "Pat Summitt's legacy as one of the all-time greatest coaches and leaders in any sport is firmly in place. Her impact on women's basketball, the athletes who played for her and the many lives she continues to inspire with her grace and courage cannot be captured in mere words. We wish her the best."

Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell: "I want to thank Pat Summitt for all she has done for the sport of women's basketball. Her 1,098 wins, eight national titles and numerous conference titles are just a few of her staggering statistics and accomplishments. What I think is more important about Pat Summitt than her impressive statistics, is the millions of people she has and continues to inspire. She motivated so many people during her 38 years to accomplish their dreams. Words can never express adequately how much gratitude I personally have for Coach Summitt. I am living a dream, coaching at Kentucky, because she gave me an opportunity to learn from her many years ago. Jenna and I will continue to support the Pat Summitt Foundation and Coach Summitt's effort to bring awareness to this disease that she is so courageously fighting. I wish Coach Summitt nothing but the very best as she starts the next chapter in her very impactful life. I love her very much."

Oklahoma women's basketball coach Sherri Coale: "Pat is one of those rare individuals whose influence crosses all boundary lines. Literally thousands of coaches in a vast array of sports abide by her tenets, passing them on as gospel to their players. Her name is synonymous with the sport of women's basketball, and yet I believe it is her leadership style -- her way of achieving, if you will, that will be her most dominant legacy.

"On a personal level, I feel unbelievably blessed to have had the opportunity to compete against her. I, and an entire generation of women's basketball coaches, will always be indebted to her for the culture of excellence she helped to create in our sport. It is on the foundation of relevance that her success helped carve that we and others like us have built our programs."

Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski: "As I've said many times, Pat Summitt is a pioneer in basketball. Her amazing career accomplishments are among an elite group of leaders. Very few people leave a lasting legacy in their chosen professions and Coach Summitt has done just that at the University of Tennessee and in women's basketball. She raised the level of commitment, pride and notoriety of her sport. I am honored to call her a friend.

Former Stanford star and WNBA center Jayne Appel: "Pat Summitt was a founding basketball legend in the women's game. She set the bar high for so many coaches whom are going to follow after her in this game. To represent all that she does and to do it in the manner in which she has her entire coaching career is truly remarkable. She has shaped the lives of so many young women, and will continue to have a strong presence in the game of basketball despite her physical absence on the sidelines in Knoxville."

Longtime friend and attorney Robert Barnett: "This is just a progression. Pat has been -- and will always be -- a coach, a mentor and a friend to many. Her title may be different, but her role will be very much the same. She will guide -- through instruction and example -- players, coaches, the university, her community and, as an advocate, our country."

Editor's note: All grammar has been left as it was written by each person.

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