KNOXVILLE (WRCB/UT) - The University of Tennessee announced on Wednesday its plans to honor Hall of Fame coach and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Pat Summitt in a spectacular and lasting way.

Plans call for Pat Summitt Plaza to be built at the corner of Lake Loudoun Boulevard and Phillip Fulmer Way, providing an entry to the campus and greeting fans as they arrive via those avenues for basketball games at Thompson-Boling Arena. The money will come from donors in the Tennessee Fund.

The plaza will serve as a permanent testament to Summitt's careers at a prime entry point for the new Lake Loudoun Boulevard entrance of campus. The area will feature a bronze statue of Coach Summitt and will celebrate the success of the Lady Vol basketball program.

"This is an exciting opportunity to honor, in perpetuity, the coach who is synonymous with the sport of women's basketball," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart said of  Summitt.

"Generations to come will enjoy seeing this beautiful statue and plaza named for this exceptional leader, role model and the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history."

Pat Summitt's influence stretches all over the world," WNBA standout, ESPN analyst and former Lady Vol Kara Lawson said.

"I'm thrilled the University of Tennessee is honoring a woman who, as a pioneer, champion and catalyst, shaped the women's game. As a former player, I feel fortunate to have learned under the greatest basketball coach in history."

In her 38 seasons as head coach at UT, Summitt guided the Lady Vols to a 1,098-208 record and a winning percentage of .840. Along the way, her teams won eight NCAA championships and 32 combined SEC regular season and tournament titles.

"This is a well-deserved honor for my coach, mentor and friend," said Holly Warlick, current head coach of the Lady Vols, who played for Summitt from 1976-80 and coached alongside her for 27 years.

"She will always be a legend for Tennesseans and others throughout the country."

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