Summitt’s feat: un-friggin-believable

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The Knoxville News offers a terrific package on Pat Summitt's pending 1,000th career basketball victory that includes stats, a slide show, and terrific features.
The Knoxville News offered this terrific multimedia package on Pat Summitt when she became the all-time winningest college basketball coach.

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt is about to reach an incredible coaching plateau – 1,000 career victories. Twenty wins a season is a great season for most coaches, and 25 is terrific. Multiply 28 wins by 35 seasons and you get a sense of Summitt’s monumental feat.

The Lady Vols can hand their coach win No. 1,000 when they play at Oklahoma tonight.

Let’s hope coach Summitt receives the recognition she deserves. She has won nearly 100 games more than Bob Knight, who is No. 1 among men’s college basketball coaches. In the NBA, only six coaches have won more than 1,000 games while playing nearly three times as many games each season. Heck, no other women’s college basketball program has won 1,000 games other than Tennessee. She’s also won eight national titles for a winning percentage that’s about .830. And consider this equally impressive stat – nearly 40 percent of Summitt’s victories were posted against ranked teams.

Make sure you reserve some space and time to recording Summitt’s feat, if Tennessee wins tonight. Interview your school’s college basketball coaches, assistants, and players. Localize the story. Put it in perspective. Maybe these coaches are among the 45 who used to play for Summitt.

If I’m the Tennessee college newspaper, I’m devoting several pages to this feat, blasting a 90 to 100-point headline above a picture of Summitt. For events like this, include key records and stats along with a slide show of the game, audio, and several features, sidebars and a column. Go huge on big stories like this. (Check out this package by the Knoxville News when Summitt became the all-time winningest college basketball coach.)

Monday’s feat may not merit the same coverage as the Super Bowl, but that does not mean Summitt’s accomplishment is not just as impressive.

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