Since the beginning of her career as Lady Vol head coach at twenty-two years old, Pat Head Summitt effectively established the University of Tennessee Lady Vols as the top women's athletics program in the nation. The winningest coach in the history of NCAA basketball, Summitt overcame one obstacle after another on the road to every victory, but it is the lives she has impacted along the way that tell the story of her true legacy. Her legacy has never faltered -- not even during her final season as head coach, when she faced her fiercest adversary yet: the diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. In The Final Season: The Perseverance of Pat Summitt, Maria M. Cornelius tells the story of her final coaching season through the eyes of those who know her best, from players to support staff to Summitt's closest friends and advisors. Cornelius presents readers with a behind-the-scenes look at the conclusion of Summitt's coaching career, detailing how her diagnosis impacted her players and her staff as well as her fans. The Final Season reveals how Summitt's remarkable story of perseverance not only united a team of young women but also brought an entire sports following together.
The book is published by The University of Tennessee Press.
“With a blend of poignant emotion and the objectivity of a journalist, Cornelius takes the reader behind the scenes to witness Summitt's final year as coach.” (Joan Cronan, UT Women's Athletic Director Emeritus)
"The Final Season gives the fan up-close and personal insight on how the Lady Vol family came together for Pat's final season-rallying around their Coach." (Debby Schriver, author of In the Footsteps of Champions)
“Maria Cornelius captures the essence of the emotions, determination, struggle, and the ability to overcome the adversity that lay before us.” (Jenny Moshak, Lady Vols Basketball Athletic Trainer)