TV tonight: Pat XO, the most successful coach in NCAA basketball

'Nine for IX' on ESPN features the story of Tennessee’s Pat Summit 

Photo: ESPN/Pat XO

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2013 —Tonight at 8 p.m. ESPN is airing “Pat XO,” the remarkable story of Pat Summitt, produced by none other than Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.” According to an ESPN press release, “this raw, authentic portrait takes the camera from the filmmaker’s hands and places it into those who know her best.”

“With her son Tyler as the lead storyteller, moving recollections are shared by assistant coaches, players like Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings and Michelle Marciniak, fellow coach Geno Auriemma, and such admirers as Peyton Manning and Kenny Chesney.”

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Pat Summit’s first and only coaching job at the University of Tennessee had a humble start that reflected the glaring disparity of funding for women’s sports common before the enactment of Title Nine.

Just prior to the 1974-75 basketball season, Summitt was named head coach of the Lady Vols after the previous coach suddenly quit. Summitt earned $250 monthly and washed the players’ uniforms herself - uniforms purchased the previous year with proceeds from a donut sale. She also drove the van that carried her team to games in those early years.

In August 2011 when Summitt announced that she had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and would be retiring at the end of the season, she left the game as the winningest coach in the history of NCAA basketball.

Summitt finished her coaching career with 1,098 wins in 1,306 games coached in AIAW and NCAA Division I play. No other Division I basketball head coach, men’s or women’s, has more than 1,000 career wins as of the end of the 2011-12 season.

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But the legend that is Pat Summitt is much more than her remarkable career. She has a God-like status in Tennessee. Summitt is the only person to have two courts used by NCAA Division I basketball teams named in her honor: “Pat Head Summitt Court” at the University of Tennessee at Martin, and “The Summitt” at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

She also has two streets named after her: “Pat Head Summitt Street” on the University of Tennessee campus and “Pat Head Summitt Avenue” on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus. She was twice offered the job as head coach of the men’s team at Tennessee. At least 19 of Summitt’s former players and assistant coaches, plus her son, have gone on to pursue their careers in coaching and basketball management.

Summitt was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century in April 2000. In 2009, the Sporting News placed her number 11 on its list of the 50 Greatest Coaches of All Time in all sports; she was the only woman on the list.

It is safe to say that no other person in the history of sports had the impact on women’s basketball that Pat Summitt did in her amazing 38 year career at Tennessee.

We can only hope that “Pat XO,” tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN does her justice, if that is even possible in one short hour.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: Extreme Weight Loss: (New) Chris helps Jami lose weight by measuring her own fitness accomplishments rather than just counting pounds; Jami shares a shocking secret.

CBS: NCIS: (Repeat) While on a stakeout at a warehouse from which naval radar equipment disappeared, the team witnesses a murder. Meanwhile, Ducky has a secret that he keeps from the other agents.

FOX: So You Think You Can Dance: (Live) The Top 18 finalists compete for America’s votes.

NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (Repeat) A senior brings his own organ donation in a cooler to a food court; a prankster’s “wife” is actually a blow-up doll; an elderly woman asks for help in writing an erotic book; and a woman swigs beer at a grocery store.

CW: Hart of Dixie: (Repeat) A distracted Lavon needs help with Pioneer Day, so Zoe and Wade portray the town’s Founding Couple.

8:30 p.m.

NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (New) Betty and her posse pull off all-new pranks - including some from viewers like you.

9 p.m.

CBS: NCIS: Los Angeles: (Repeat) Part 1 of 2. Callen and Sam fly to Idaho and join forces with NCIS: Red, a mobile team of agents who live together and investigate crimes in various locations, when a murder weapon found there matches one used in a national security case in Los Angeles.

NBC: America’s Got Talent: (New) The judges scour the country in search of America’s most talented performers.

CW: America’s Next Top Model: College Edition: (Repeat) Highlights from the 19th season are featured.

10 p.m.

ABC: Body of Proof: (Repeat) After an inmate violently escapes from a prison transport van, a witness from his murder trial is found dead; Megan investigates the original case when the fugitive claims he was framed.

CBS: Person of Interest: (Repeat) Reese and Finch visit Atlantic City to investigate an elderly gambler whose number has come up. Meanwhile, Carter tries to clear a colleague’s name and comes close to discovering the department’s remaining HR faction in the process.

PBS: Frontline: (New) Two American Families: The stories of two Milwaukee families as they struggle to remain in the middle class over a 20-year period.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Pretty Little Liars at 8 p.m. on ABCFAM

Nine for IX at 8 p.m. on ESPN

Deadliest Catch: On Deck at 8 p.m. on DSC

Property Virgins at 8 and 8:30 p.m. on HGTV

The Haves and Have Nots at 9 p.m. on OWN

Mythbusters at 8 and 9 and 10 p.m. on SCI

Dance Moms at 9 p.m. on Life

Twisted at 9 p.m. on ABCFAM

Rizzoli & Isles at 9 p.m. on TNT

Deadliest Catch at 9 p.m. on DSC

Airport 24/7 at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Counting Cars at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on History Channel

Storage Wars New York at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on A&E

Bang Goes the Theory at 9, 9:40 and 10:20 p.m. on BBC

Exit at 10 p.m. on Syfy

Gangsters: America’s Most Evil at 10 p.m. on BIO

Swamp Murders at 10 p.m. on ID

Perception at 10 p.m. on TNT

My Teen is Pregnant and So Am I at 10 p.m. on TLC

Pretty Wicked Moms at 10 p.m. on Life

Catfish: The TV Show at 10 p.m. on MTV

Taboo USA at 10 p.m. on NGC

Chopped at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Shipping Wars at 10 p.m. on A&E

Property Envy at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on BRAVO

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Basic Instinct on ENC

Dark Blue on FLIX

Grown Ups on FX

Trouble with the Curve on HBO

The Pledge on IFC

Identity on SUND

Now, Voyager on TCM

9 p.m.

S.W.A.T. on AMC

The Hangover Part II on MOMAX

Resident Evil: Retribution on STARZ

Later tonight:

Rites of Passage at 9:30 p.m. on TMC

The Story of Us at 9:30 p.m. on SHO

The Fighter at 9:30 p.m. on FXM

The Terminator at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

Steel Dawn at 10 p.m. on FLIX

Deception at 10 p.m. on TCM

The Crush at 10:10 p.m. on ENC

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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