RUSTON, La (WATE) – It’s deep into the conference schedule for the Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team and first-year head coach Tyler Summitt.
“I think, so far, things are going well,” he said. “We’re a long ways from where we want to be but excited about the future.”
The future may be exciting, but the Lady Techsters have some serious history.
The team landed three national championships and 13 Final Four appearances, none since 1999.
Last April, Louisiana Tech asked a 23-year-old, first time head coach to rebuild the program.
“It’s weird,” said Summitt. “I don’t feel like this is my first head coaching job. I had the 6 AAU teams in Knoxville. I’ve been an assistant coach and I’ve just grown up my whole life asking questions.”
Summitt is a head coach at 24 years of age, hired at 23. Impressive? Of course. Unprecedented? Hardly.
After all, his mother was hired at the University of Tennessee at age 22.
“He’s got a vision like no other coach I’ve been around,” says associate head coach Mickie DeMoss. “He’s always looking to next week and how we’re gong to get there, how we’re going to beat that team.”
“There’s definitely pressure here, but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Summitt. “I’ve grown up with pressure because of my last name and so it’s fitting to come here and try to put this place back on the map. “We have the resources and staff and the players but it’s a process.”
A process that, to Summitt, begins with family.
“He has an open door policy,” said Louisiana Tech guard Brooklyn Pumroy. “Even though he is 24 or 25, I don’t even know. To me he’s 46. After you’re with him on the court so many times, the maturity level he has on the court transfers off the court so it’s just as easy to get advice on anything.”
“It’s not about wins and championships,” said Summitt. “Those things are great but it’s about relationships. Helping these young ladies improve at life and not just basketball and that’s why I think the women’s game is so special.”