Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who played for four years at the University of Tennessee, released a statement Wednesday about legendary Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt, the Denver Post reported.
Summitt, who revealed on Aug. 23 that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type, is stepping down after 38 seasons on the bench, although she will remain head coach emeritus.
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"Through the dedication and selflessness Pat Summitt has shown at the University of Tennessee, she has made an immeasurable impact both on and off the basketball court during her Hall of Fame career. The strength and perseverance that have defined her as a coach, mentor and role model were never more visible than through the incredible courage she displayed this past season," Manning's said in his statement. "Without question, Pat is one of the strongest people I know. It is no surprise that she has not backed down from a challenge.
"I have always had a great deal of respect and admiration for Pat, and I am truly honored to call her a friend. I look forward to watching her continue to inspire others in her new role at the University of Tennessee."
Summitt won eight championships and 1,098 games in her career, more victories than any basketball coach in NCAA history. She will discuss her retirement at a Thursday news conference on the court named in her honor.