clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Interview with Tyler Summitt: How he chose the Louisiana Tech head coaching position, his age, and what he learned from Pat Summitt

Louisiana Tech created waves in the women's basketball community by hiring 23-year-old Tyler Summitt to replace Teresa Weatherspoon as their women's basketball head coach. Swish Appeal caught up with Summitt to ask him about the process of getting to LaTech, his age, and what he learned from his legendary mother.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Swish Appeal: How did the Louisiana Tech job come to reality for you, as I know you had many overtures from other universities?

Tyler Summitt: "I interviewed at (Tennessee) Chattanooga and Coastal Carolina last year, they were great experiences. And then this year, there were four or five (schools) that reached out to me. I didn't start the process until after Marquette's season, after we were done with the WNIT.

"Once we were done with that, I called Louisiana Tech back, and told them that I was interested. And, we did a number of phone interviews, a bunch of face-to-face interviews, and I'm just glad that it was God's plan.

SA: What was it about Louisiana Tech that piqued your interest over the other universities?

TS: "The main thing that my wife (AnDe) and I -- we really did feel that it was God's plan, and that we were being called there. And in addition to that, the more I got to know Tommy McClelland, our Athletic Director and Dr. (Les) Guice, the President of the university; the more I knew that it was place for me just because of their incredible vision and leadership."

SA: How did the hiring of Mickie DeMoss come to fruition?

TS: "Well, we're just so thankful to have Mickie and to hire her as our associate head coach. She's very excited to come back and coach for her alma mater, to be closer to her family. Again, people ask me, ‘What Mickie brings?' And my response is one word: everything. She brings everything to our program, we're so excited to have her and we're going to be relying expertise a lot."

SA: Coach Summitt, address the elephant in the room which is your age, and why you feel you are so ready for this opportunity?

TS: "Well, I really feel that I've been a coach on my mom's staff my entire life. I grew up in locker rooms; on the end of the bench taking stats; in film sessions; breaking down film with my mom. When I was 15, 16, 17 years old, I was coaching - helping coach players who were older than me. I've had multiple AAU head coaching opportunities; one team went onto win the Tennessee state championship for AAU.

"And, not just the Lady Vols either, but being a walk-on for Bruce Pearl, being a walk-on for Cuonzo Martin, two years at Marquette [as an assistant]. I really feel like the age and the experience don't matchup. "

SA: What are some of the things that you want to imprint upon this program? And, what do you want your teams to be known for?

TS: "The biggest thing is that we're going to work to be the best that we can be -- at everything we do. And so if that's on the court, then we are competing to dominate every single possession. If that's in the classroom, we're competing every single minute that teacher is speaking, we're paying attention, and we're taking notes.

"So no matter what we do, we're going to be the best that we can be. So I think - if you want specifically on the court, we're going to compete on every single possession. We're going to play hard and give effort and show toughness on every single possession. And, a lot of people have told me that they're excited about the talent that's returning for our team. But the talent is not going to matter until we have the effort. So that's going to be our focus - to key in on every single possession."

SA: Out of the all the things you have learned from your mother, what is the one thing that stood out the most?

TS: "I think it's character, it's doing things the right way. My mom never cut corners; she always did things right way, treated people the right way. And at the same time, she held people accountable, I don't care what they were doing, they were held strictly accountable to be the best they could be.

"But at the same time, she always did things the right way. She just had (great) character on and off the court, everything she did. So, I'm going to strive to have character as well."

SA: Can the fans of college basketball look forward to one day Tennessee and Louisiana Tech playing again?

TS: "I don't want to speak for Tennessee; obviously, I would enjoy rekindling any rivalries that Louisiana Tech had - LSU, Tennessee, it's all about what's best for Louisiana Tech. While it would be fun to play Tennessee, we'll see what happens and go from there."