Tyler Summitt follows in mom's coaching footsteps at Marquette
Tyler Summitt is just twenty games into his career.
"I said this before, 'What's the one thing you would bring to the table? I mean, I understand you have files and who your mom is, but what's the one thing?' And he said, 'I will bring a championship environment every day because that's all I know,'" Coach
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WATE) - After 38 seasons as a winning basketball coach, Pat Summitt casts a very big shadow over the game.
In fact, it's so big, her 21-year-old son packed his bags, left Knoxville, his mom, and his fiancé, and moved 600 miles to begin his own coaching career.
Just a few hours before Marquette hosted DePaul in a Big East women's basketball game last Saturday, Pat Summitt's son had already jumped into game mode.
"It's just mentally preparing. So before games, you mentally prepare," Tyler Summitt said. "You coach the game in your head before the game even starts."
Tyler is just 20 games into his career. But thanks to growing up with a women who's climbed the national championship ladder eight times, Tyler says he's not surprised by anything he's encountered yet.
"I think the main surprise for me was just the amount of freedom I have to put in whatever offense I want, any out of bounds play I want. I am helping with substitutions," he said.
"When I interviewed him I told him one of the things is that all of my assistants have a voice in our program," said Marquette head coach Terri Mitchell. "I clearly know I am in charge, but I do not have an ego and we're only going to be better as all the pieces and Tyler has knowledge oozing out of him."
Tyler's job offer wasn't exactly a slam dunk. Coach Mitchell had some reservations about hiring the inexperienced son of a legendary head coach.
But given one shot to win her over, Tyler Summitt came up clutch.
"I had people on the list," she said. "I mean, Marquette, I had a lot of people I was going to bring in for interviews."
"Those first nine minutes or so I could tell it wasn't looking good for me to come to Marquette," Tyler recalled.
"I said this before, 'What's the one thing you would bring to the table? I mean, I understand you have files and who your mom is, but what's the one thing?' And he said, 'I will bring a championship environment every day because that's all I know,'" Coach Mitchell said.
While he definitely credits his mom for most of his basketball knowledge, Summitt also learned a little playing for two other Tennessee coaches.
"It's that Tennessee mentality and not just my mom's and Holly's philosophies, but Coach Pearl, Coach Martin, and everything kind of meshing all together," he said.
On the court, the game with DePaul tested the entire Marquette coaching staff.
DePaul led with less than four minutes to play. But the Golden Eagles hit some key shots, including some clutch free throws.
Marquette walked away with a hard-fought, four-point win, 70-66 win, leaving Mitchell, Summitt and the entire Marquette fan base, feeling good.
"The biggest thing is our kids really fought and that's what we've been trying to do all year and that was great," Tyler said.
I asked Tyler - can you believe your mom went through about 1400 of these things?
"Crazy, crazy. I don't know how she did it. I mean, the stress with it. It's always fun afterwards," he said. "That's the thing with sports. You try not to let the highs get too high and the lows get to low, so we're going to prepare for Connecticut."