"It's a great feeling. I guess it's what I thought it would be - it's just a great moment."
With those words, Lady Vols Head Coach Pat Summitt described the feeling of winning her first NCAA National Championship. The game took place in March of 1987. The Lady Vols defeated Louisiana Tech 67-44 at the Erwin Events Center on the University of Texas campus.
The team returned home to a days-long welcome party that kicked off when their plane arrived at McGhee Tyson Airport. Fans greeted the coaches and players at their terminal. They also received a police and fire truck escort as buses brought them back to the UT campus. The Lady Vols also eventually visited the White House and met President Ronald Reagan as a result of their national title.
Summitt went on to win seven more NCAA National Championships, making a total of eight in her career. She is the winningest coach in NCAA men's or women's basketball history and led the Tennessee women's basketball program from 1974 to 2012. During her 38-year tenure, the Lady Vols posted a 1,098-208 record (.840) and claimed a combined 32 SEC regular season and tournament titles while graduating all 122 players who completed their eligibility at UT.
Summitt is now in the role of "Head Coach Emeritus" for the Lady Vols Basketball program.
She is battling early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type in her typical fashion-- by raising lots of money for research into finding a cure and treatment.
Coach Pat Summitt has broken record after record during her career, but the day her team one its first National Champion won't soon be forgotten and is one of your 'Straight from the Heart" moments.
Lady Vols celebrate their first national championship.