Pat Summitt Alzheimer's Disease Ends 38 Years of Tennessee Coaching (Pictures)

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Semifinals
Tennessee Volunteers women's head coach Pat Summitt waves to the fans as she is honored along with former USA Women's basketball coaches at halftime of the game between the Baylor Bears and the Stanford Cardinal during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship at Pepsi Center on April 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Getty Images)more pics » Pat Summitt (Getty Images) Pat Summitt is stepping down as the head coach of the Tennessee women's basketball team, the school released in a statement today. The 59-year-old's longtime assistant will be promoted to head coach, while Summitt will continue to help the team under the title of head coach emeritus.

The news comes less than a year after Summitt was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease.

“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 said .

“I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward. 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," she said.

The 59-year-old coached the team for 38 years and lead the team to eight national championships. She first revealed the Alzheimer's diagnosis in August, after dementia led to problems with memory in her personal life and coaching.

See more Pat Summitt pics here:

  • Pat Summitt in NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Semifinals
  • Pat Summitt in NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Semifinals
  • Pat Summitt in NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Semifinals
  • Pat Summitt in NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Semifinals
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