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Remembering Pat: East Tennessee reflects on Pat Summitt's legacy two years later

Thursday marks two years since Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt passed away following her battle with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease.

Thursday marks two years since East Tennessee lost one of its most beloved sports legends.

On June 28, 2016 -- people mourned as news came that Coach Pat Summitt had passed away following her battle with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease.

Two years later, the love and respect for Pat burns as bright as ever, particularly from those whose lives she touched.

Pat's legacy and her mission to fight to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease and dementia remains.

On June 4, the Pat Summitt Foundation raised more than $150,000 from its 7th annual Alzheimer's Golf Classic

Ways to give: Pat Summitt Foundation

The foundation was established in Nov. 2011 by Pat and her son Tyler, and works toward finding a cure and to provide support for patients and caregivers.

►RELATED: Pat Summitt's hometown unveils statue in her honor

In January 2017, UT Medical opened the doors to the Pat Summitt Alzheimer's Clinic, which has served to help many suffering from the disease and improve access to healthcare services.

As head coach at the University of Tennessee from 1974-2012, Summitt won eight NCAA championships. Tennessee won national titles in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2007 and 2008.

The mark is surpassed only by the 10 titles won by UCLA men's basketball coach John Wooden, and the 11 titles won by UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma.

In 38 seasons as UT”s head coach, Summitt compiled a record-setting 1,098-208 record and never had a losing season. During Summitt’s tenure, every single one of her players who completed their eligibility graduated.

Summitt coached 21 All-American players, 39 All-SEC players and 12 Olympians (as part of the 1976 Summer Olympics. A total of 14 players Summitt coached while at UT played in the Olympic games at some point).

Summitt’s teams made 18 Final Four appearances, and won 32 combined Southeastern Conference titles (SEC Championships and SEC Tournament titles).

From 1976-2011, every Lady Vol basketball player had the opportunity to play in at least one Final Four.

In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Summitt the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian honor in the nation. She also received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPY Awards.

Summitt was born June 14, 1952, in Clarksville, Tenn., the fourth of five children. She attended Cheatham County High School in Ashland City, Tenn., because Clarksville did not have a girls team.

Back then, Summitt was known as Trish Head (her full name is Patricia Sue Head Summitt. Pat Head married R.B. Summitt in 1980. Pat Summitt filed for divorce in 2007, and the divorce was finalized in 2008).

Trish was a four-year starter at Cheatham County High School from 1967-1970, and a TSSAA All-District 20 Tournament selection in 1970, the same year she graduated.

In 1970, there were no athletic scholarships for women with the passage of Title IX still two years away.

Each of Summitt’s brothers received athletic scholarships, but her parents had to pay her way to college.

Summitt led UT-Martin to a 64-29 record from 1970-1974, including two trips to the national championship tournament in 1972 and 1973.

Four games into her senior season, Summitt tore her anterior cruciate ligament, a near career-ending knee injury.

UT credits Helen B. Watson, the former chairperson of the university's physical education department, for bringing Pat Summitt (then Pat Head) to Knoxville. Watson asked Summitt to coach the Tennessee women’s team in a letter dated April 30, 1974.

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