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Stories, favorites and great
Never break their spirit

More than 38 years, head coach, Pat Summitt prowled college basketball court sidelines for the Lady Volunteers at the University of Tennessee winning national recognition for leadership, demanding attitude and short temper. Her teams regularly broke attendance records and won eight national titles. ((1987, '89, '91, '96, '97, '98, 2007, '08))

From 1992 to 1995 pressure and expectations mounted. Before the 1996 tournament, the team lost a game they should have won. Riding the bus home, Summitt got on a senior so hard she was crying and didn’t sleep that night.

Michelle Marciniak called Summitt at six the next morning.

“I need some encouragement,” Marciniak told her. “I don’t need to be ridden all the time and just lashed out at, like you’ve been doing in front of my teammates. I’m not responding to that.”

Summitt realized understanding her players was as important as pushing their limits. “Sometimes I’m more stubborn than smart. But that time, I decided I needed to be smart. I needed to give in. Marciniak was almost about to break, and the one thing you never want to do is break a player’s spirit. So I listened.”

Notice, that year they won the tournament for the 4th time.

University of Tennessee - Lady Vols  
  #EZ.35805 Exp 06-04
    Owner:   Nixon II, Don M.  
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