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As coach of the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team for nearly four decades, Pat Summitt was a pioneer who paved the way for equality in women’s sports. She won eight national championships and was the first coach of either gender to reach 1,000 victories in a career. Her program produced 20 All-American players and 12 members of the U.S. Olympic squad.
Summitt’s courage and her efforts to help fellow Alzheimer’s patients and their families earned her the 2012 Andrus Award for community service, the highest honor awarded by AARP. That same year, AARP The Magazine also selected her as a winner of its 2012 Inspire Award.
In a 2012 interview, Summitt told the magazine that she had persevered in coaching because she wanted her players "to understand that this is what I'm going through, but you don't quit living. You keep going."