Location Unveiled For Pat Head Summitt Plaza

Posted at 4:14 PM, Jul 14, 2016

A location has been announced in Clarksville for a statue and interpretative display honoring Coach Pat Summitt.

On June 28, Coach Summitt passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. Her death came five years after a diagnosis of early onset dementia, which forced her retirement from her legendary coaching career at the University of Tennessee.

Thursday, those with the Pat Head Summitt Project Committee, as well as Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan, unveiled the new location for the statue along the Cumberland River.

The mayor also declared Thursday as Pat Head Summitt Day in Clarksville.

Those with the project said they have planned to build the Pat Head Summitt Plaza, which will run along an existing walkway leading to Freedom Point.

According to information from the committee, the plaza plans have included:

  • A bronze statue of Coach Summitt in a classic coaching pose
  • A wall framing the artwork with an honorary dedication proclaiming the Pat Head Summitt Plaza at Freedom Point
  • Several plaques with interpretative information on Coach Summitt’s life
  • A plaque naming donors to the project

Those with the project said the primary objective has been to honor the life of Coach Summitt.

“Coach Summitt is so much more than a sports figure,” committee chairman Richard V. Stevens said. “She is an American cultural icon whose leadership reshaped the sports landscape for women. Her success pulled our society forward and bent the curve of history toward justice and equality for women athletes. She blazed a trail that resulted in more opportunity for women – more scholarships, better facilities, more well-paid women coaches, and ultimately a successful women’s professional basketball league.”

The bronze statue, which has nearly been completed, can be dedicated quickly, according to the committee, to memorialize Coach Summitt’s life. They added the statue will hopefully be installed in the fall.

“I want to thank everyone who has given time, creativity, and funds to bring this project to this point,” Mayor McMillan said. “Pat Summitt’s contributions far exceed the basketball courts on which she played and coached. I’ve heard from so many people who believe the time is right to provide a special place to memorialize her life and legacy and to pay their respects for her amazing accomplishments in her hometown. I’m excited that we have a plan that will allow us to move forward quickly with the installation of the statue here and continue to build this plaza in Pat’s honor over the next few years.”

To create the statue, the committee selected J. Brett Grill, whose work has been seen at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, the National Archives, and the National Statuary Hall Collection of the U.S. Capitol.

The project’s price has been estimated at $250,000. Nearly $120,000 has been raised by the committee through cash donations.

Those on the committee said tax-deductible donations were being handled through the Aspire Clarksville Foundation.

For anyone wanting to make a donation, they can be made by credit card by clicking here. Those wanting to mail the donation can download a donor form online by clicking here.

Checks with “An Aspire Campaign” written in the memo line can be mailed with donor information to the following address:

Pat Head Summitt Project
Teresa Harrington, Director
Convention Visitors Bureau
25 Jefferson Street
Clarksville, TN 37041

For more information on the plaza, click here.