[Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET] Eight months after revealing her diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer's, the head coach of the University of Tennessee's women's basketball team announced she was stepping down Wednesday.
Summitt, who led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and whose 1,098 wins are the most in major-college basketball history, will now serve as "head coach emeritus," helping with on-campus recruiting, mentoring players and serving as a liaison between the coaching staff and the athletics director, Tennessee said.
"I've loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role," Summitt, 60, said in a statement released by Tennessee.
Holly Warlick, an assistant on the Tennessee staff for 27 seasons and a former Lady Vols player, has been named Summitt's successor.
"I support Holly Warlick being named the next head coach, and I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward," Summitt said. "I would like to emphasize that I fully intend to continue working as head coach emeritus, mentoring and teaching life skills to our players, and I will continue my active role as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer's through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund."
Tennessee has scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon.
Summitt, who started coaching Tennessee in 1974, revealed her early-onset Alzheimer's diagnosis in August, more than two months before the 2011-12 basketball season began. Alzheimer‚Äôs causes significant memory and cognition problems; early-onset means the disease was found before age 65.
Before the season began, Summitt revealed her plan for continuing to coach with the disease: She said she scaled back some of her workload, was relying on her staff do do more tasks, was taking medication and was following a "gameplan" to keep her mind sharp.
The Lady Vols finished this season with a 27-9 record, advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight before losing to eventual champion Baylor.
"If anyone asks, you can find me observing practice or in my office," Summitt said. "Coaching is the great passion of my life, and the job to me has always been an opportunity to work with our student-athletes and help them discover what they want. I will continue to make them my passion. I love our players and my fellow coaches, and that's not going to change."