Tennessee Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPYS in Los Angeles July 11. Continuing her battle with early onset dementia (Alzheimer’s Type), she stepped down as the head coach of the Lady Vols April 18.
Summitt, 59, is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA men’s and women’s basketball history. She earned 1,098 wins over 38 seasons, leading the Lady Vols to a women’s basketball record eight national championships, 13 NCAA Final Four appearances and a combined 32 Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament championships.
“I am humbled to receive an honor bearing Arthur Ashe’s name and to join an amazing group of recipients who have received the Ashe Award at the ESPYS,’’ Summitt said in a statement. “Besides being an incredible tennis player, I genuinely admired Arthur’s honesty, integrity and conviction in all areas of his life on and off the court. I will proudly accept this award.’’
The Ashe Award is presented annually to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. The ESPYS will recognize the strength and courage Summitt displayed during her tenure at Tennessee and in the face of illness.
“Pat Summitt’s accomplishments as a coach and mentor are unmatched as she has dedicated her life to serving as an inspiration and a motivator for generations of young students and athletes.’’ said ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Acquisitions Norby Williamson. “As she enters this next phase of her life focusing on transforming her personal adversity into making an impact on the fight against Alzheimer’s, we could not be more proud to honor her as the recipient of the 2012 Arthur Ashe Courage Award.’’