Pat Summitt Expected To ‘Pass Into Heaven In The Next Few Days,’ Family Pastor Says

UPDATE: Pat Summitt passed away Tuesday morning, according to a statement released by her son Tyler Summitt. You can read the statement by clicking here.


Pat Summitt is no longer seeing visitors as her family prepares for her “imminent” death, according to multiple media reports late Monday.

Dr. Chris Stephens, the pastor who provides spiritual guidance to Pat Summitt and other followers at Faith Promise Church, told listeners on a local radio talk show that her son, Tyler, has stopped visitors as of Monday as the family prepares for the legendary coach’s death. Unless “God did a Red Sea parting miracle,” Pat Summitt will “will probably pass into Heaven in the next few days,” Pastor Chris Roberts said.

“Pat has gone down pretty rapidly, and Tyler has been unbelievable in taking care of his mother. The best help, the best folks that can possibly be. He’s doing very well. Yesterday, there was a line of players to come to say we love you and goodbye, but Tyler has said no more visitors. The doctors are saying it is very imminent.”

Pastor Chris Stephens said he will oversee the legend’s funeral because as Pat Summitt had requested. The spiritual leader also led an on-air prayer asking God to “send some of your most choice angels to come and gently bring her home with you.”

The family first released a statement over the weekend as news spread that Pat Summitt was experiencing health concerns from early onset Alzheimer’s disease, a diagnosis she revealed in August 2011. The statement acknowledged her failing health, but did not allude to a near-death condition.

“On behalf of Pat Summitt’s family, we acknowledge the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ progresses. She is surrounded by those who mean the most to her and during this time, we ask for prayers for Pat and her family and friends, as well as your utmost respect and privacy. Thank you.”

Visitors poured into the retirement facility where Pat Summitt has lived since January, according to The Tennessean. Among the visitors to see the former University of Tennessee coach was approximately 20 of her former players, including WNBA stars Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings, in between league games.

As news spread, several current and former coaches took time to honor the legacy that Pat Summitt leaves behind on social media. Included in those tributes were several players and coaches from rival schools, recounting how much the legendary figure meant to them. Current University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones shared pictures of Pat Summitt as well.

Pat Summitt continued to coach until the end of the 2011-2012 season despite her diagnosis, stepping down to focus her work on the Pat Summitt Foundation — an organization with the mission to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Her record at the University of Tennessee was 1,098-208, the most wins recorded by any Division I basketball coach regardless of gender.

Pat Summitt began her career at the age of 22, taking over after the University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach suddenly resigned in 1974. She won the first of her then-record eight national championships in 1987. When she retired from coaching, Pat Summitt also held the record for coaching in the most Final Fours with 18 on her impressive resume.

After ending her career, President Barack Obama announced she was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award that can be awarded a civilian. The school has also honored Pat Summitt multiple times, including renaming the court at Thompson Boling Arena — the University of Tennessee’s basketball arena — after the coach. In November 2013, the Pat Summitt Plaza was dedicated on the Knoxville campus, including a statue of the legendary coach.

[Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images]

Share this article: Pat Summitt Expected To ‘Pass Into Heaven In The Next Few Days,’ Family Pastor Says
More from Inquisitr