LOS ANGELES – Tennessee Women’s Basketball Coach Pat Summitt, will be given the John R. Wooden Award’s “Legends of Coaching” honor this year, the Award’s chairman, Duke Llewellyn, announced today.
Summitt will be honored along with the 2008 Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners, college basketball’s players of the year, and the Wooden Award All-American teams at the Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 12, 2008 in a nationally televised event. The “Legends of Coaching” Award was adopted by the Wooden Award Committee in 1999, with the first honor going to Dean Smith of North Carolina.
Summitt, the first women’s basketball coach to be honored, is collegiate basketball’s all-time winningest coach. In her three decades in orange, Summitt has won 947 games and an unprecedented seven national titles, including the 2007 NCAA crown. Summitt’s teams have played in an incredible 26 consecutive NCAA Sweet 16s, and have won 26 Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles, while compiling an all-time record of 947-180 (.840).
Amazingly, all of Summitt’s players since 1976 have done two things: Every Lady Vol player who completed her eligibility at Tennessee played in at least one Final Four, and all have graduated.
The Los Angeles Athletic Club, one of the nation’s finest and oldest private athletic clubs, has hosted the Wooden Award since its inception in 1977. The most prestigious individual honor in college basketball, the Award was founded by The Club’s Senior Vice President Duke Llewellyn, who continues to serve as the its chairman at age 89. The John R. Wooden Award is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his/her university that he/she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include Michael Jordan (’84), Larry Bird (’79), Tim Duncan (’97) and last year’s recipients, Candace Parker of Tennessee and Texas’ Kevin Durant.
The Award will be televised nationally on CBS. The five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the ceremony and all finalists will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club for their university’s general scholarship fund. In early January, the midseason top 30 men/20 women will be announced. Tickets for the presentation gala may be obtained by calling The Los Angeles Athletic Club at (213) 625-2211.
The Los Angeles Athletic Club, founded in 1880, is located at 7th and Olive Streets in one of Los Angeles’ landmark buildings. The current facility, built in 1912, has 12 stories and more than 150,000 square feet of space including 72 European-style hotel rooms.