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Pat Summitt: A true fighter

The all-time winningest coach in Division 1 college basketball history has passed away Tuesday morning after spending five years battling her biggest opponent. Pat Summitt has died at the age of 64 at a senior living facility located in Knoxville Tennessee, peacefully surrounded by those who loved her most.

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Five years after being diagnosed with early onset dementia, the Associated Press reports Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt has died Tuesday morning at the age of 64.

Before stepping down in 2012, Summitt guided the Tennessee Lady Volunteers in 38 seasons to winning eight national titles and accounting for 1,098 wins making it the most by any coach in Division 1 history, male or female.

At the time of her retirement, she ranked behind the 10 national championships won by former UCLA men's coach John Wooden, and now UConn's Geno Auriemma, who passed her after she retired.

Beyond the statistics and wins, Summitt had a fervent impact on women's college basketball. She battled the disease the same way she did with her opponents on the court, fierce and determined.

Her legacy extends far beyond the sidelines; she was a leader who embedded the true definition of what it meant to have a good character and poise. Many would say her legacy is measured far beyond what she has done at Tennessee, but by the younger generations of men and women who admire and respect Summitt's competitive nature, that drove them to work harder in their own unique way.

Her impressive coaching record began building in 1974 when she became the head coach of the Lady Vols. She was only 22 years old, barely older than the players, she would be coaching. At the time, Summitt was paid $8,900 per year and fought with education classes for practice space in the gymnasium.

During the peak of Title IX, Summitt became the face of women's college basketball and helped prove why they could be just as successful as the men. In 2006 Summitt became the first women's basketball coach to break through the million-dollar salary mark with an annual total of $1.125 million.

After stepping aside, longtime assistant Holly Warlick took over, as the University honored Summitt with a bronze statue on Pat Summitt Plaza.

This legend will never be forgotten.