Tyler Summitt, 25-year-old son of Hall-of-Fame coach Pat Summitt, has stepped down as head coach of the Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team after cryptically admitting to an inappropriate relationship. Speculation immediately and logically ensued that the relationship in question was with one of his players.
Summitt, who just finished his second season coaching the Lady Techsters (to records of 16-15 and 14-16), released this statement:
“It is with great regret that I resign from my position as head coach of the women’s basketball program at Louisiana Tech University. I am profoundly disappointed in myself for engaging in a relationship that has negatively affected the people I love, respect and care about the most. My hope, plans and prayers are to repair those relationships.
“I am appreciative of the opportunity I was given to coach at Louisiana Tech. I am heartbroken that my time has ended in Ruston, but because of my respect for the institution, it is best that I resign. I am hopeful the media and the public will respect the privacy of my family and me as we deal with this difficult situation I have caused.”
Summitt married his high school sweetheart in 2013.
The university also released a statement announcing Summitt’s resignation, one that made no reference to any relationship.
Very specific rumors of what forced Summitt’s resignation are out there, if you want them. But in the absence of credible reports, Summitt’s ignominious exit merely underlines how ridiculous his initial hiring was.
Louisiana Tech is one of the historic powers of women’s college basketball. The Lady Techsters have the second-most wins of any D1 program, and the third-best winning percentage all time. They made 25 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including 10 Final Four appearances. They have fallen off in recent years, but the coach who preceded Summitt was a decorated, big-name hire in Teresa Weatherspoon.
Summitt, meanwhile, was hired by Louisiana Tech at age 23, after two years as an assistant coach at Marquette. Prior to that he was a student assistant for Pat Summitt’s Lady Vols.
Women’s college basketball has the highest percentage of female head coaches of any D1 sport, but even that glass ceiling is thickening. The number of women coaching hoops programs is at its lowest level in decades, with a significant drop coming in just the last five years. Summitt’s hire was and is infuriating to the qualified female coaching candidates who had to watch the appealing Lady Techsters job go to a 23-year-old kid because of who his mother is.