SECJams Board of Directors:

We Bleed Orange, but Back Pat

As a lifelong Tennessee fans, Pat Summitt is very close to the hearts of the staff of SECJams. We grew up watching the Lady Vols in their prime, taking home many championship trophies. We grew up in a state were women’s basketball was never a secondary sport, and a state where Pat Summitt was one of the most beloved and heroic people in the United States. So when the news first hit, it was shock, awe, and tears. In no way, shape or form did we think anything would happen to Pat Summitt. Summitt is a hero in Big Orange Country and things like this do not happen to heroes. Heroes are supposed to live long and healthy lives.

The initial shock wore off and the support came rolling in from everywhere. It was a video at a University of Tennessee football game on the video-board that summed it up. The video showed pictures of Pat spanning from childhood to cutting down the nets, and at the end showed the simple sentence, “Pat you are not alone.” That video played throughout different games during the football season, and received more of an ovation than what we saw on the field all year.

The fondest memories of Coach Summitt for the SECJams staff came while working at Cherokee Country Club. Over the years working at the club in many roles, we all had the chance to be around Coach Summitt. In those situations Coach Summitt was always one of the nicest ladies you will meet, whether it were during a big function or just playing golf. Coach Summitt hosted a golf tournament at the course to benefit the Helen Ross McNabb Clinic every year, and was absolutely awesome to every member of the golf staff. Whether it was thanking the cart staff for their hard work, or hosting the kickoff dinner at her house, she was an amazing host and hospitable to every person involved in the tournament.

However, the moments at the course that meant the most to us were little moments that no one else knows about. The days Coach Summitt would show up in her Lady Vols sweat suit ready to play golf, but breaking every dress code for the course. Nobody there had the nerve to tell coach she could not wear that, or she was breaking any course rules. Or the day Coach Summitt surprised Ms. Florence Bailey for her birthday and played golf with her. These moments are the ones that never get talked about in the media, but are our favorite moments of Coach Summitt.

These moments make her not just a legend but a HERO in the eyes of the SECJams staff.