Pat Summitt, who won more games than anyone in NCAA college basketball history, stepped down Wednesday as coach of the Tennessee women's team, less than eight months after revealing she had early-onset dementia.
"I've loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role," the 59-year-old Hall of Famer said in a statement issued by the school.
Summitt's career ends with a 1,098-208 record, eight NCAA titles, 16 regular-season Southeastern Conference championships, and 16 SEC tournament titles.
During her time, Tennessee never failed to reach the NCAA tournament, never received a seed lower than No. 5, and reached 18 Final Fours.
"There will be a tremendous void in our game," South Carolina coach Dawn Staley, the former Temple coach and Olympian who starred at Dobbins Tech, said in a statement. "Coach Summitt has left a legacy for all coaches to follow. I will do my best to uphold the standard of excellence she has displayed for the past 38 years."
Longtime assistant Holly Warlick, a three-time all-American who played for Summitt, will take over. Summitt will become head coach emeritus.
A news conference is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Knoxville, Tenn.
When the Vols lost in a regional final to eventual national champion Baylor, Warlick's tears were a telltale sign of how draining the season had been and also that it likely was Summitt's last game.
"She is an icon who does not view herself in that light, and her legacy is well-defined and everlasting," athletic director Dave Hart said. "Just like there will never be another John Wooden, there will never be another Pat Summitt."
Tennessee said that Summitt's responsibilities would include helping with recruiting, watching practice, joining staff meetings, helping coaches analyze practice and games, and advising the Southeastern Conference on women's basketball issues and mentoring players.
"Pat's vision for the game of women's basketball and her relentless drive pushed the game to a new level and made it possible for the rest of us to accomplish what we did," Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, a frequent rival, said in a statement.