Editor’s Note: This story was originally posted on ESPN.com after Pat Summitt stepped down at the University of Tennessee in 2012.
Everything and nothing changed Wednesday in Knoxville, Tenn.
News that Pat Summitt is stepping aside as head coach at the University of Tennessee to accept the role of head coach emeritus, leaving control of the women’s basketball program to longtime assistant Holly Warlick, comes as little surprise precisely because it is the inverse of the shocking news that came almost a year ago, when Summitt informed the world she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia. Nobody saw the former coming. Sadly, everybody saw this coming.
As Warlick took on more of the day-to-day responsibilities of running the program over the past season, it became a matter of filling in the blanks on the timing and title — for both Summitt and Warlick — of a transition of power. In that respect, and taking Summitt at her word in the statement released by the school that she’ll remain a fixture watching practice and interacting with the players, Knoxville won’t look much different in the days to come than it did in recent months.
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