Andy Landers Reflects on the Loss of Pat Summitt

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Andy Landers Reflects on the Loss of Pat Summitt

Former UGA women's basketball coach Andy Landers
Coach Andy Landers during Georgia’s game against the Michigan State Spartans on Sunday, December 7, 2014 in Athens, Ga.
(Photo by John Kelley)

Andy Landers and Pat Summitt were pioneers of women’s college basketball, laying the groundwork for the sport as it exists today.
“I think Pat did for me what she did for so many. In many ways, she brought the best out of me because of where she set the bar. I knew Pat for five years before I came to Georgia so I’ve known her for a long time. We went through a period in women’s basketball that’s very different than the period women’s basketball is in today. It was the start up. It was the beginning of Title IX. I think what she did so very well was she made people understand what the product of Title IX could be by taking Tennessee women’s basketball and building it into something that was recognized nationwide.”
“You have to admire and respect the way that she tried to fight it, but this wasn’t a typical opponent. This wasn’t something that you could trap in the corners and make them throw it away. But from Day One, her outlook was ‘We will deal with it. We won’t call it anything else.’ I remember calling her because people were calling me when the news broke and I asked her ‘How do you want to frame this? How should I answer questions?’ She said ‘It is what it is. It’s dementia. It’s the fast-moving kind. I’m going to fight it with everything I’ve got. But that’s what it is, and that’s what we’re going to call it.’ That was typical of Pat Summitt recognizing the challenge as it is and meeting it head-on.”
“Having retired a year ago – and trust me, this isn’t something I do every day. I don’t sit and look through scrapbooks and try to remember things – but it does become more obvious to you the quality of work that you’ve done, the lives that you’ve touched and the people that you’ve influenced. I regret that Pat didn’t have an opportunity to look in that rearview mirror and see all the terrific things that she did through the years.”

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.

2 responses on “Andy Landers Reflects on the Loss of Pat Summitt

  1. 66DAWGnNC

    Great article EC. My mom suffered with Dementia for over 10 years. She passed away Monday morning. No one truly understands what this disease does to both the patient and the family. It is a horrible, horrible disease.