Monday, March 1st, 2021

Pat Summitt hands the whistle to Holly Warlick

Published on April 20, 2012


Video and transcript of press conference

A day after announcing her retirement from the head coaching job at the Tennessee, Pat Summitt handed the reins over to longtime associate coach Holly Warlick in a press conference.

The legendary coach praised Warlick and ceremoniously handed her whistle over to the new coach.

“It is now time to turn over my whistle to you,” said Summitt. Warlick became just the second head coach of Tennessee women’s basketball in the NCAA era.

“Today I feel like the luckiest person in the world,” said Warlick. “I get to coach at a school that has always been in my blood. This is my home. People have asked me, `Why have you not left?’ And I’ve always said `Why would I?’ It is an honor and privilege to be the head coach at the University of Tennessee.”

Warlick coaching during the 2012 NCAA tournament. Photo © Robert Franklin, all rights reserved.

“Her philosophies and values are very much in line with Coach Summitt and what she’s about,” said Lady Vols guard Taber Spani said. “That’s going to make the transition a lot smoother, but Holly has her own personality as well, so we’re excited about adjusting to that and looking forward to that.”

Warlick, a Knoxville native, saw 949 wins as an assistant. The Women’s Basketball Coaches Assocation named her the nation’s top assistant coach after she helped lead UT to its seventh national title in 2007.

“Pat giving me her blessing was the biggest thing,” she said. “She has been a coach for me, a mentor, and a great friend. To have the opportunity to work under Pat Summitt for 27 years is the most incredible thing. I’ve been around her, I’ve seen her stare, I’ve seen her blow this whistle quite a bit, and hopefully that’s one tradition I can carry on, to push these ladies and use this whistle to the best of my ability.”


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