University of Tennessee Women's Basketball coach Pat Summitt joins other notables such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael J. Fox, and Nancy Pelosi as one of U.S. News and World Report's America's Best Leaders for 2007.
In honoring Coach Summitt, U.S. News and World report says:
When Summitt started at Tennessee in 1974, there was no Title IX, no national recruiting budget, not even an NCAA-sanctioned tournament. She had no money to spend on scholarships and no revenue from ticket sales.
What she did have was an intuitive sense of the game. She also studied the coaching greats, attending clinics by UNC's Dean Smith and soliciting advice from Indiana's Bobby Knight. She took what she liked, adapted it, and transformed a sport.
Coach Summitt's Lady Vols have won seven NCAA National Championships. She is the winningest NCAA basketball coach with 947 wins through last season, and a seven time SEC Coach of the Year and a seven time NCAA Coach of the Year. She was the the first female college coach to earn more than $1 million per season.
Even more remarkable is her team's record of academic success. Under Coach Summitt, the Lady Vols have a 100% graduation rate and maintain a 3.0 or better GPA. And there are no discipline problems on her team. He philosophy is "discipline yourself so no one else has to."
Congratulations to Coach Pat Summitt and the U.T. Women's Basketball Program.