Abilene coaches reflect on impact of legendary coach Pat Summitt
ABILENE, TX - It's been two days since the passing of women's basketball frontier woman Pat Summitt. She changed the game for good, and her success on the court was easily matched off it. Pat put her players first, an attribute that inspired some of our coaches here in Abilene.
Both Coach Julie Goodenough of ACU and Coach Brittany Densman-Roes from McMurry grew around the sport that Pat helped raise to the top, and know just how this iconic figure in their profession has impacted them.
"She was one of those coaches that it wasn't just about wins and losses," said Densman-Roes on Thursday. "It was about coaching people and I admired that about her." The now-second year War Hawk remembers watching Pat Summitt coach the Lady Vols as she grew up, hoping to one day play for the all-time winningest coach.
"Everyone knows about the great things she did in the public eye, but it's what she did out of the public eye," she said. "But the big thing was watching Pat versus Geno. UConn versus Tennessee. Right then watching those games, I knew that's what I wanted to do. I want to play college basketball." For Goodenough, it was Summitt's lead of putting females in the spotlight of the sport that carries with her.
"Because of pioneers like coach Summitt who fought for the sport of women's basketball, it allows people like me to have a great job," said Goodenough. But although she, and the other founders are gone, the work of female coaches in the sport will continue to live on her legacy.
"We are so far ahead of the game from where coaches like Pat Summitt were when they first got started," said Goodenough. "So I feel like now we owe it to those ladies that made strides for all of us."