Pat Summitt who built the University of Tennessee's Lady Volunteers into a perennial power on the way to becoming the winningest coach in the history of major college basketball, died yesterday. Her death came 5 years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. She was 64. In her 38 years at Tennessee, Summitt won eight national titles and 1,098 games -- the most by any Division 1 basketball coach, male or female. She was probably more responsible for ushering women's basketball into the spotlight, more than anyone else. And she did it not by playing by the old, demure, ladylike rules of women’s sports, but by crashing the boys’ sports party.
The always colorful and brash Buddy Ryan died Tuesday at age 85 after leaving his mark across the NFL. He was a linebackers coach for the Super Bowl champion Jets in 1968, and the mastermind behind the innovative "46" defense in Chicago, a scheme built solely on the premise of traumatizing quarterbacks. It helped the Bears win the 1985 Super Bowl. Later in his career, he went on to become head coach at Philadelphia and Arizonia. He often argued with other coaches he worked with. Buddy Ryan was an innovator, a motivator, an incinerator. Just ask Kevin Gilbride.
Casual college baseball fans probably never heard of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers before this week. This little known mid-major forced college baseball to take notice. They aren’t the first small school to make it to the College World Series, but they are the smallest to make the finals. Smaller than the other mid-major, Fresno State, who won it all in 2008, the Chanticleers (54-18) from Conway, South Carolina, will play the winner-take-all game for their school's first national championship in any sport against perennial power house Arizona who have won 4 national titles. If you’re debating whether to watch the Yankees or Mets, or tonight’s final, it’s a no brainier. Exciting old school baseball, college style. Oh, one more thing…What’s a Chanticleer?
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