Vol fans stand in support of Pat Summitt

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Lady Vols basketball head coach Pat Summit's dementia diagnosis is spreading through the Vol Nation.

While there's shock and sadness involved, others are left simply inspired.

Pat Summitt, a living legend, in East Tennessee. Her name and smile as iconic as orange itself.

"She's done more for women's basketball than I think almost anyone has," said Nick Weaver.

"She's kinda like the mother of UT athletics I guess you could say," said Taylor Moran.

"She's basically UT in my eyes," said Elizabeth Smith.

Even in her toughest moments, it's her courage fans remember. UT's campus left in a whirl Tuesday as word spread.

"I just hope that she can continue to coach, with the help of her assistance coaches, and that, you know, she stays mentally healthy, and preserves her mind as well as she can for as long as she can," said Edie Miller.

Summitt says she will, and is already preparing for her 38th season leading the Lady Vols.

"The fact that she has the support of her team, coaches and UT as a whole, she can still do her job," said Smith.

It's that spirit of an eight-time national champion, they know will lead her forward.

"She's such a great face for the university, such a positive for UT," said Miller.

"We would do anything for Pat Summitt," said Weaver. "And I hope there's something that as a school body we can do for her to help her through this trying time."

On the night of a heartbreaking announcement, fans are standing behind her.

"We definitely don't want her leaving," said Weaver.

"She's had a long, good career here at UT. And I hope that she goes out smiling," said Fred Galbreath.

Summitt's fans have created a facebook page to support her. You can find out more by clicking on the link above.

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