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Warlick's UT challenge: meeting Summitt's standard

Published: Tuesday, June 30 2015 7:36 a.m. MDT

New Tennessee women's basketball head coach Holly Warlick is congratulated after a news conference Thursday, April 19, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn. Pat Summitt, the sport's winningest coach, stepped aside as head coach of the Lady Vols on Thursday, taking the title of New Tennessee women's basketball head coach Holly Warlick is congratulated after a news conference Thursday, April 19, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn. Pat Summitt, the sport's winningest coach, stepped aside as head coach of the Lady Vols on Thursday, taking the title of "head coach emeritus" The 59-year-old coach revealed Aug. 23 that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. (The Knoxville News Sentinel, Saul Young, Associated Press)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Holly Warlick has her work cut out for her as Tennessee's new women's basketball coach.

She is replacing Pat Summitt, which has been compared to following Dean Smith at North Carolina, John Wooden at UCLA or Bear Bryant at Alabama.

Warlick, however, says she's simply taking over a program she's very familiar with for her close friend.

And just like Summitt, Warlick welcomes a challenge.

Warlick says she's a basketball coach and learned from the best. The first Tennessee basketball player whose jersey was retired says she is following a mentor who prepared her for this opportunity.

Summitt set a seemingly unreachable standard with 1,098 wins and eight national titles. Warlick's success will depend heavily on convincing great players to keep coming to Tennessee.

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