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Pat Summitt Bronze Statue Unveiled at UT

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Pat Summitt wears a smile rather than her famous stare in a bronze statue of the former Lady Vols coach that was unveiled Friday on Tennessee's campus.


The statue was revealed at a dedication ceremony for the Pat Summitt Plaza to honor the coach who led Tennessee to eight national titles and 18 Final Four appearances. About 1,000 fans and dozens of former Lady Vols got their first look at the sculpture, located across the street from Thompson-Boling Arena at the corner of Lake Loudon Boulevard and Phillip Fulmer Way.


"I just want everybody to know that for me, today, it's not about me," Summitt said while speaking alongside her son, Tyler, just before the statue was uncovered. "It's about everyone out here that loves the University of Tennessee. We just hope and pray that we can continue to do good things. Tyler has been a rock for me, and I appreciate him for that. I want everybody to know how much I appreciate what's happened here today. I don't think I'll ever forget it, and I love you all."


The 500-pound statue, which is 8 feet, 7 inches tall, shows Summitt smiling as she leans forward with her arms folded. Behind the statue is a concrete wall bearing a giant version of Summitt's signature. Below the signature are the words "Head Coach 1974-2012, Record 1,098-208, 8 National Championships."


"It's great," said Tyler Summitt, now an assistant women's coach at Marquette. "She loved it, so I loved it."


Summitt stepped down as Tennessee's coach in April 2012, one year after announcing she had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. She remains on staff as head coach emeritus. Her 1,098 career wins are the most of any Division I men's or women's basketball coach.


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