Maria M. Cornelius is the author of “The Final Season”, a book dedicated to the last coaching season of one of the most legendary, heroic and inspirational coaches sport has ever seen…Pat Summitt.
Pat Summitt began her coaching career in 1974 aged 22 as the Head Coach of the Lady Vols Women’s Basketball Team (University of Tennessee), and established the team as one of the best women’s athletics programs in the Country. Pat won an incredible 1,098 games and eight national championships with the Lady Vols, as well as an Olympic Gold Medal as Head Coach of the USA Women’s National team in 1984 and was the first female coach to ever grace the front covers of Sports Illustrated Magazine.
In 2011, Pat was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and bravely went ahead to complete her final season (2011-2012) as the Head Coach of the Lady Vols. Devastatingly, the disease took hold of Pat very quickly, and she sadly passed away on June 28th 2016 aged only 64.
In 2016, Maria who has written about the Lady Vols Basketball program since 1998 for local, regional and national media, published her book telling the story of Pat’s final coaching season through the eyes of those who knew her best, from the players to support staff to Pat’s closest friends and advisors. Beginning with the diagnosis that shook the Tennessee community in the summer of 2011 continuing through to the final game of 2012.
Pat Summitt has been a huge inspiration to the FCN founder and after reading the book “The Final Season”, she wanted to reach out to Maria and ask her about her own experience of Pat’s final season and how she feels about having written about such an emotional story about one of the greatest coaches in the history of sport…
Read the full interview here https://femalecoachingnetwork.com/interviews/maria-m-cornelius/