BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) – When looking back at Pat Summitt’s life, there isn’t much she hasn’t accomplished.
The 64-year-old has the most career wins of any Division I men’s or women’s basketball coach.
Her resume also includes 8 National Championships and an Olympic gold medal.
Back in 2011, doctors diagnosed her with early on-set dementia and it gave her a new mission in life: The Pat Summitt Foundation.
Former University of Tennessee Head Football Coach Phillip Fulmer was in the Tri-Cities Monday playing in the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Classic.
As news continues to circulate on Summitt’s declining health, Fulmer spoke about Summitt to members of the media Monday morning.
“Pat has handled it with class,” Fulmer said. “Just to put her name out there with the Pat Summit Foundation and what that has done in a short period of time and try to help going forward,” he said.
Coach Fulmer is a friend of Pat’s, saying he knows all too well about the disease she is battling.
“I’ve been involved for a long time because my mother has it and she is 90,” he said.
Fulmer is one of many who continue to pray for Pat as her health declines.
“Anybody that has dealt with Alzheimer’s and dementia all know it’s just about the person that has it its also about the caregivers and the families. Everybody is affected by it.”
Defensive Coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and East Tennessee State University Alumni Mike Smith said “you keep people like Pat in your prayers. She is a fantastic coach and has done wonders for not only women’s basketball but basketball and coaching In all. She has been a heck of a mentor and a great coach.”
Meanwhile, Pat’s family members are asking for privacy during this difficult time.
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