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Pat Head

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games, Coach
Full namePatricia Sue "Pat"•Head (-Summitt)
Used namePat•Head
Other namesTrish Head
Born14 June 1952 in Clarksville, Tennessee (USA)
Died28 June 2016 in Knoxville, Tennessee (USA)
Measurements178 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsUT Martin Skyhawks, Martin, Tennessee (USA)
NOC United States


Pat Head played her collegiate basketball at the University of Tennessee at Martin. She was MVP of her team but did not have the college record held by some of her 1976 teammates. However she co-captained the 1973 Universiade silver medalists, played for the U.S. team at the 1975 Worlds Championship, and won a gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games. After retiring as a player, Pat Head made her mark as one of the top coaches in the college game – male or female. She was the coach of the U.S. teams which won gold medals in the 1979 Pan American Games and the World Championships, was the assistant coach for the 1980 Olympic team which did not compete at Moscow, and coached the gold-medal winning 1984 U.S. Olympic womens’ basketball team at Los Angeles.

As Pat Head, she was named head coach at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) in 1974, at age 22, and coached the Lady Vols for 38 years, mostly known by her married known of Pat Summitt (although she and her husband divorced in 2008). She coached eight NCAA champions with Tennessee, was named National Coach of the Year seven times, and won 1,098 games, through 2016 the most by any college coach – male or female. In 2011 she announced she was suffering from a form of early onset Alzheimer’s dementia but briefly continued to coach, with some assistance, until she retired in August 2011 because of the disease, although she continued to be known as head coach emeritus. Pat Head-Summitt, always acknowledged in the US as the greatest women’s basketball coach, and among the greatest of either gender, died only five years after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Summitt received numerous awards. She was named by Sports Illustrated as the 2011 Sportswoman of the Year (with Mike Krzyzewski). In 2012 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama, the highest civilian award given to a US citizen. The court at her alma mater, U Tennessee Martin, was renamed as “Pat Head Summitt Court” and the court at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) was named “The Summitt.” She has been inducted into several Halls of Fame - the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1990, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011, and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2013. In April 2000 she was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1976 Summer Olympics Basketball (Basketball) USA Pat Head
Basketball, Women (Olympic) United States 2 Silver

Coaching results

Games Sport (Discipline) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1984 Summer Olympics Basketball (Basketball) USA Pat Summitt
Basketball, Women (Olympic) United States 1 Gold

Special Notes