Robin Selvig remembers coaching legend Pat Summitt - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Robin Selvig remembers coaching legend Pat Summitt

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The sports world lost a legend Tuesday.  Pat Summitt died at the age of 64.  She became the winningest coach in the history of college basketball in 38 seasons at Tennessee.  Summitt stepped down four years ago when she began battling early onset dementia. 

Her loss is felt around the women's college basketball world -- including in Missoula.

Montana's own legendary coach Robin Selvig remembers a very friendly relationship with Summitt.  She started as a head coach as a 22-year old, and Selvig joined the fraternity four years after Summitt's first season. 

Twice their paths crossed in competition.  Selvig and Summitt arranged a home-and-home series.  After a 16-point loss in Knoxville in 1993, the Lady Griz played right with the powerhouse Lady Vols in '94, losing 66-61 in front of a packed house in the Adams Center. 

Summitt paying attention to the success of the Montana program, and complimenting the Lady Griz, has always stuck with Selvig.

"We talked some, and that's how that series came about," Selvig said. "She was very friendly and open to all coaches.  But the only times I really visited with her were a couple times on the phone, and I talked a couple times at the Final Fours.  We just talked."  

"She was aware of our program, which made me feel good.  She has been in it since the start of getting the thing going.  I think that what she really did is there is a lot of young women, a lot of women today that owe a lot to her, not only for the opportunities created in women's basketball by it's growth, but in other sports and in other aspects of life," Selvig continued. "I mean, she was a pioneer in championing opportunities for women.  And she obviously was a great coach."

Summitt won 1,098 games at Tennessee, more than any other college coach in men's or women's basketball.  She also captured 8 national championships.  And now the Pat Summitt Foundation raises money for Alzheimer's awareness and research.

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