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Summitt ends career; named head coach emeritus

Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - Tennessee women's head basketball coach Pat Summitt has ended her brilliant career after 38 seasons and has been named head coach emeritus.

Summitt announced last August that she was diagnosed with early onset dementia, but finished one final season on the bench.

Associate head coach Holly Warlick has been named Summitt's successor. Warlick played under Summitt and was an assistant for 27 seasons.

"I've loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role," said Summitt in a statement Wednesday. "I support Holly Warlick being named the next head coach, and I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward. I would like to emphasize that I fully intend to continue working as head coach emeritus, mentoring and teaching life skills to our players, and I will continue my active role as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer's through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund."

Summitt is the all-time wins leader among college basketball coaches with a record of 1,098-208. The Lady Vols won eight national championships under Summitt, played in five other title games and reached the Final Four 18 times.

In her new role, the 59-year-old Summitt will serve as a liaison to the athletic director, will remain involved in on-campus recruiting and serve as a personal mentor to players.

"If anyone asks, you can find me observing practice or in my office," Summitt continued. "Coaching is the great passion of my life, and the job to me has always been an opportunity to work with our student-athletes and help them discover what they want. I will continue to make them my passion. I love our players and my fellow coaches, and that's not going to change."

Summitt was the head coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team that captured a gold medal at the Los Angeles Games. She was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 in her first year of eligibility.

Warlick has been on the Tennessee coaching staff for all eight of the school's national championships. As either a player or coach, she he has had a role in 949 of Summitt's 1098 wins at Tennessee.

"I'm very thankful for all Pat Summitt has done to prepare me for this opportunity," said Warlick. "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."

A three-time All-American as a point guard at Tennessee, Warlick held numerous school records upon the completion of her playing career in 1980, including most assists in a season and a game, most steals in a game, and most games in career. Warlick was the first Tennessee athlete, male or female, to have her jersey retired at the end of her career in 1980.

04/18 14:30:58 ET