Pat Summitt, the longtime women’s basketball coach at Tennessee who has won more games than any other major college coach, said she forgot things at crucial points in games at times last season and struggled to keep track of when meetings were scheduled. She grew so confused that on a few days she simply stayed home from work.
It was not until after the season ended that she sought a medical diagnosis and learned she has symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Ms. Summitt, 59, revealed the diagnosis on Tuesday, and said she planned to continue to coach. She said her doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., encouraged her to continue as long as she felt up to it.
“I plan to continue to be your coach,” Ms. Summitt said in a videotaped statement posted on the university’s Web site. “Obviously, I realize I may have some limitations with this condition since there will be some good days and some bad days.”
(Photo: Joe Imel / AP via the Times)