After her passing this morning, the sports world is reflecting on the life and career of Pat Summitt. Summitt was the head coach at Tennessee for 38 seasons, leading the Lady Vols to eight national championships, 18 Final Fours, and 16 SEC Championships. Summitt started her career at Tennessee in 1974 at the age of 22, but as the Herald-Leader’s Mark Story wrote yesterday, there was a time in which she considered taking the women’s basketball coaching job at Kentucky. Kentucky reached out to Summitt in 1976, and, as an avid Adolph Rupp and Kentucky men’s basketball fan, she listened.
“At that time, I had no way of knowing what the (financial) commitment to (women’s basketball) would be here,” Summitt said of Tennessee. “And, because it was Kentucky, I thought that job had a lot of potential.”
Alas, the course of women’s basketball history turned over $100.
“If my memory is right, I was making $8,900 at Tennessee,” Summitt said in 1998. “Kentucky was offering $9,000. I didn’t think I could afford to move for $100.”
Looking back, there have been some interesting near-misses with famous coaches in UK Athletics history, but this may take the cake.
Could we not have shilled out a few extra hundred dollars to help Pat move to the Bluegrass??