If we had to pick a "most admired" woman in Tennessee, Pat Summitt would be at the top of the list. The University of Tennessee women's basketball coach has won admirers for her tenacity, her dedication and, more recently, for her forthright approach to living with Alzheimer's disease.
Last week, shortly after Summitt retired from coaching, the White House announced that she would receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This week comes news that the winningest coach in NCAA history is writing a memoir, along with sportswriter and friend Sally Jenkins. The yet-to-be-titled memoir will be published by Crown Archetype next spring.
Jenkins, a Washington Post columnist who has co-written memoirs by Lance Armstrong (It's Not About the Bike) and Dean Smith (A Coach's Life) among others, wrote movingly last summer about her friendship with Summitt and the devastating news that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the age of 59:
It is the measure of Summitt’s large-heartedness that she could call any of a half-dozen people her closest friend. This writer has only one: her. “I would rather drive stakes through my own hands than write this story,” I said.
The collaboration between these two friends to tell Summit's remarkable story makes this a memoir to watch for in 2013.