As yet untitled, Tennessee Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt’s book will be issued simultaneously in print and digital formats by Crown Archetype, an imprint of Random House, Inc.’s Crown Publishing Group.
Renowned for her fierce competitiveness, steely-eyed resolve, and tireless devotion to her players, Summitt will chronicle in her book her full life journey, including her working childhood on a farm in Henrietta, Tennessee; her career as coach of a team that has won more games than any other, men’s or women’s, in history; her life as a devoted mother; and her determination to take on her toughest opponent yet—Alzheimer’s disease.
Having just completed her thirty-eighth season as head coach, Summitt, 59, was diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type, in May 2011.
Summitt will write the book with Sally Jenkins, a Washington Post columnist, a four-time winner of the Associated Press Sports Columnist of the Year Award, a member of the National Sports Writers and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, and the author of 10 books.
Summitt and Jenkins have collaborated previously on two national bestselling books: Reach for the Summit (1998), in which Summitt shared her motivational advice for succeeding in sports, business, and life; and Raise the Roof (1998), an account of the Tennessee Lady Vols’ 1997-98 undefeated championship season.
“Basketball has always been far more than a game to me: it's a way of being, an ethic, and a value, and so my intention is that this will be more than a sports book,” Summitt said. “Competition got me off the farm and trained me to seek out challenges and to endure setbacks; and in combination with my faith, it sustains me now in my fight with Alzheimer’s disease.
"I look forward to sharing with readers the experiences that shaped me as a mother and a teacher and a leader, and how I’ve tried to shape the young women who wear the Tennessee Orange.
"This book provides me with yet another opportunity to do what I love to do most, which is to get up and go to work on an exciting challenge every day.”
Under Coach Summitt’s leadership, the Tennessee Lady Vols achieved an unrivaled record of athletic success, including 32 Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament championships, an unprecedented 31 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and 13 Final Fours.
Summitt has developed 12 Olympians named to 17 teams, 21 WBCA All-Americans named to 35 teams, and 77 All-SEC performers, and has a 100 percent graduation rate for all Lady Vols who have completed their eligibility at the University of Tennessee.
In April 2009, she was named the Naismith Basketball Coach of the Century. Most recently, she was recognized by Sports Illustrated magazine as its 2011 Sportswoman of the Year.
The deal was announced today by Tina Constable, Senior Vice President, Publisher, Crown Archetype. Mauro DiPreta, Vice President, Editor-in-Chief, Crown Archetype, acquired world, electronic, audio, and first serial rights from Summitt’s longtime representative Robert B. Barnett of Williams & Connolly LLP, and will edit the book.
Said Ms. Constable, “Pat Summitt’s accomplishments as a coach, educator, and mother are awe-inspiring, as is her unique ability to transform adversity into success. We are very proud to partner with her in publishing a book that will be an important part of her extraordinary legacy and an enduring source of inspiration for so many.”
The parent company of Random House, Inc. is Bertelsmann AG.