Best Knoxvillian: Pat Summitt

Best Knoxvillian Runners-Up: Ashley Capps, Derek Dooley, Frank Gambuzza

What new could you possibly say about head Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt? It’s possible that not every fan realizes her middle name from birth is Sue. But the rest? Everybody who cares knows she’s coached the SEC Champions 15 times, been SEC and NCAA Coach of the Year seven times each, coached eight NCAA Champion teams, and on February 5, 2009 became the first head coach of either gender in Division I NCAA basketball history to reach 1,000 wins. And that’s what you’ve got to love about our own Pat; all those accomplishments, all that public glare, and she’s still bringing her best game, pushing her players, an SEC championship this year, followed by the Sweet Sixteen, starting to fret because there have been no national championships for two whole years. This coach wouldn’t know how to phone it in. Only thing we can see her doing with all those laurels is leveraging them for women who need her help, like when she became a literal poster woman for the Family Justice Center on a University of Tennessee and Operation for HOPE Foundation poster urging “Ending Family Violence = VICTORY.” She’s a good mom, to boot, so close to son Tyler, who’s 19, that he’s a practice player for her team and aspires to coach alongside her before it’s said and done. Here’s what he told ESPN: “Well, I’ll tell you one thing. She’d be the last person I’d want to coach against.” Us, either. We’re happy we’re on Pat’s side.

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