Oklahoma City Women's Regional: Holly Warlick putting own stamp on Tennessee program

Following in the footsteps of Pat Summitt is a tall task, but Warlick has the Volunteers in familiar territory — deep in the NCAA Tournament.
by Gina Mizell Published: April 1, 2013
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photo - Tennessee coach Holly Warlick speaks with reporters during media day for the NCAA Women's Basketball regional final game at the Chesapeake Arena on Monday, April 1, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Okla.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Tennessee coach Holly Warlick speaks with reporters during media day for the NCAA Women's Basketball regional final game at the Chesapeake Arena on Monday, April 1, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

“Holly is one of the goofiest people I know,” Simmons said. “She's so bubbly, she just has this attitude and personality that she's gonna be happy no matter what.

“But when it comes to basketball, she's a different person, because it's her job to make us women on and off the court. And she does an amazing job.”

And Warlick still leans on Summitt. After Chattanooga upset the Lady Vols in the season opener, Warlick glanced at the rest of the schedule and wondered what she had gotten herself into. She knew the passionate fan base — one that expects Final Fours and national championships — would not be pleased.

Summitt quickly gave her some perspective.

“She just assured me things would get better,” Warlick said. “She told me that she lost her first game, and I thought, ‘Well, you know, Coach Summitt lost her first game. I'm going to be OK.'”

Tennessee responded, capturing the SEC regular season title and winning its first three NCAA Tournament games by an average of 17.3 points.

Now, only Louisville stands in the way of the Lady Vols' 19th trip to the Final Four.

And Simmons wants to get there for Warlick.

“Holly deserves it,” she said. “She's done so much, from being next to Pat for so long and stepping in and taking that job and being honored to actually have that position. It's just an amazing feeling, and I give her a lot of credit for taking on so much.”

by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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