Tyler Summitt was introduced Wednesday as the sixth head coach in Louisiana Tech women's basketball history.
Summitt, 23, is the son of Lady Vols coach emeritus Pat Summitt, and talked at his introduction about his trips to Ruston, La. during the heated rivalry with Tennessee.
"As I grew up as a part of the Tennessee Lady Vols program, everything on and off the floor was geared towards competing against Louisiana Tech," Tyler said. "The Lady Techsters were the standard in which excellence in women's basketball was measured for so long. I am proud to be a part of this storied program."
The Lady Techster program ranks second in all-time wins, with 1,043. Tennessee is first. They've made 27 NCAA tournament appearances, but haven't been to the Big Dance since 2011.
Tyler's challenge is to rebuild the storied program back into a conference contender and annual NCAA Tournament participant. Tech's 27 NCAA Tournament appearances ranks fourth all-time although the Lady Techsters have not made an appearance since 2011.
"Tyler represents our philosophy of developing champions in the classroom, on the court and in life,"said Louisiana Tech Athletics Director Tommy McClelland. "He grew up in that championship culture, and it is all he knows. His reputation as a great recruiter, a rising young star in the coaching business and a passionate leader is known throughout the nation. We are fortunate to have him lead our women's basketball program into the future."
"(My wife) AnDe and I are grateful and humbled for the opportunity to become a part of the Louisiana Tech Family," Tyler said. "I am honored to lead our women's basketball team, which is an absolute gem in the women's game with an incredible tradition. To our Lady Techster fans, AnDe and I look forward to getting to know you all very soon. I am excited to help every member of our program be the best that they can be through our five standards: belief, family, character, competition, toughness."
Tyler spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Marquette University.
"Tyler Summitt is an amazingly talented individual with tremendous character and leadership skills that will unquestionably propel him to success in life," said Louisiana Tech President Les Guice. "I am absolutely thrilled to have him leading our Lady Techsters basketball program and am confident that he can return our program to national prominence."
As you can imagine, mom is very proud.
"It is a special day for our family, and especially for Tyler, as he is given the reigns to one of the most storied programs in women's basketball," said Pat Summitt. "We are excited about the opportunity he has been given and are grateful to Tommy McClelland and Dr. Leslie Guice for having faith in Tyler. He has been preparing for this day since he was a little boy, and I can assure you he will work very hard and will represent Louisiana Tech University with class. I'm sure Tyler is ready to get busy, and I know he and AnDe look forward to becoming part of the Louisiana Tech family and the Ruston community."
When he was at UT, Summitt played on the men's basketball team for former Coach Bruce Pearl.
"Tyler is one of the brightest young minds in college basketball," said Pearl, who recently accepted the head men's job at Auburn. "Tyler is so wise beyond his years, understands the game and has a proven system. I would hire him at Auburn if it weren't for this head coaching opportunity at LA Tech."