The top women's basketball coaches in the country can now be honored with a trophy named after the legendary Pat Summitt.
Russell Athletic and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced Wednesday that the commemorative award presented to the National Coaches of the Year will now be named The Pat Summitt Trophy.
"The WBCA is honored that Pat Summitt has graciously lent us the use of her name to recognize the Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year on all levels - high school through NCAA Division I," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Pat was in the room in Syracuse back in 1981 when the WBCA was formed. She has been one of our biggest supporters ever since. And it is appropriate that the first time the Pat Summitt Trophy will be presented is in her home state of Tennessee."
Summitt who stepped down as head coach of the Lady Vols in April 2012 because of her battle with Alzheimer's. She is the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history (men's or women's across any division) with 1,098 career victories. She led the Lady Vols to eight NCAA Division I national championships. In 38 years as a coach, all at UT, she never had a losing season.
Summitt won the first WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year Award in 1983, and took it home twice more, in 1995 and in 1998.
Appropriately, The Pat Summitt Trophy will be presented for the first time in the state of Tennessee. The NCAA Women's Final Four is set for Nashville in April. The Coach of the Year award will be handed out at the WBCA National Convention on April 7, which is held in conjunction with the tournament.