Former University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s women’s head basketball coach, Pat Summitt, has been struggling due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Summitt was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in August 2011. The condition causes a neurological disorder in which brain cells die and results in memory loss. There is currently no known cure for the disease.

“The past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type progresses,” according to a statement released by Summit’s family.

A source told Knoxville News Sentinel that Summitt is not doing well and her friends and family are preparing to say their final goodbyes.

Summitt’s family and close former players were with her this weekend and arrangements were made to make possible public statements on her condition if necessary.

Summitt coached the Volunteers from 1974-2012, winning eight national championships, an NCAA women’s record, by the time she retired. She has the most wins of any female basketball coach in NCAA or NAIA history.

ESPN and The Associated Press reported two of Summitt’s former players, Candice Parker and Tamika Catchings, were traveling to Knoxville to visit.

Many friends close to Pat have also been chiming in on Twitter.


This is an ongoing story and will be updated accordingly.