High school players watch Pat Summitt hand over the reins

High school players watch Pat Summitt hand over the reins

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As three players, their coach and other Webb staff members watched, you could see tears in their eyes. As three players, their coach and other Webb staff members watched, you could see tears in their eyes.

By ERICA ESTEP
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Tens of thousands tuned in to watch Thursday's press conference, as UT introduced Pat Summitt and Holly Warlick in their new coaching positions.

In West Knoxville at Webb School, a group of high school basketball players and their coach watched as Summitt officially handed over the coaching reins.

"It's definitely a very emotional day and a big day in history," said Webb senior Marjorie Butler.

As three players, their coach and other Webb staff members watched, you could see tears in their eyes.

The Webb School seniors are coached by former Lady Vol Shelley Collier and they're reminded regularly what Pat Summitt stands for.

"Every single day I wake up and I'm just inspired by the way she coaches, the way she treats her players, and the way she treats every human that she even comes in contact with," said senior Jane Romano.

Butler, who will play for Georgia next year, said Summitt is an inspiration for girls all over the country.

"She definitely has impacted me so much in basketball and shown me what the women's game stands for," she said. "It's not just about basketball, but it's about how you carry yourself and what type woman you are, how to be a strong individual and I thank her for that."

"When I was little, I looked up to her," added Romano. "I even found a letter to myself from when I was in fifth grade saying you're going to play for Pat Summitt one day."

Coach Collier calls Summitt a friend. Holding back tears she said, "I'm proud of her, who she is, what she stands for and I'm thankful for the influence you've had on my life, and my children and my players."

Another former Lady Vol at Webb, Lynne Canan,  is the administrative assistant to the athletic director.

Canan said Summitt's influence can't easily be put into words. "I just want her to know how much I love her, and I texted her that last night," she said. "We're going to miss her, but we're still around. We know she's still around, and I'm just grateful that I had a chance to play for her."

They all say they're convinced she'll continue to inspire young girls. "I just want her to know that she was the reason I started this dream when I was younger," added Romano. 

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