I’ve seen a lot of tributes today on Pat Summitt, but this from former Bison player Lynette Mund was one of the best. This is from her Facebook page:
“This might get long, and some have heard it, but in honor of the late Pat Summitt, I would like to share the story about the first time I met her.
As a young athlete, I grew up watching Tennessee women’s basketball. Although, I did not possess the caliber of talent to play there, I always respected how Coach Summitt had her team’s play. When I was a young coach, I read one of her books, and it was inspiring to say the least. Pat grew up on a dairy farm and had to work in the fields with her brothers…her dad not treating her any differently than her brothers.
As most of you know, her story is similar to mine, and I often would think about how I would love to be able to sit with her and explain how her upbringing was such an inspiration to me. I had it all planned out how I would say it if I ever got the chance to meet her.
Well, that day came when the Final Four was in St. Louis. I was at the arena with Denise Ammon-Meyer, and as people were clearing out, Pat Summitt comes walking towards me. “Oh my God!” I remember thinking. “Here’s my chance.” I was pretty intimidated, but Denise said, “Say something.”
So I reached out my hand and said, “Coach Summitt.”
She said, “Yes” and looked at me (or through me) with her piercing eyes. I froze.
Everything that I had wanted to say was lost…with the exception of these next few eloquent words that I can’t believe I said out loud. I stammered, “Coach, I read your book, and I used to milk cows, too.”
That was it…that’s all I could get out.
She looked at me and said, “Well, you’ve made a connection.” She then said, “so sorry, but I am late for my plane” and away she went.
I stood there dumbfounded, and Denise and I have had many laughs about it since. The picture below is of the second time I met Coach Summit. It was about a month after the Final Four at a coaching clinic.
As I was getting her signature, I said, “I’m not sure if you remember me, but I met you last month at the Final Four.” She said, “Oh yes, I remember”. I apologized for my lack of words, and she told me not to worry.
RIP Pat…and thank you for all you did for women’s sports. So many of us will forever be grateful.”