Friday, August 02, 2013

ESPN Films - Nine for IX - Pat XO

Running on the treadmill at Arden Hills, I watched Pat XO. This is the second film in a new series from ESPN films. Called Nine for IX (as in Title IX), the series includes films about women made by women.

The documentary looks at the life and career of Pat Summitt. Summitt is the former women's college basketball head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team. She is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history of either a men's or women's team in any division. She coached 38 years from 1974 to 2012 with the Lady Vols. She won eight NCAA national championships, second only to the record 10 titles won by UCLA men's coach John Wooden. She is the only coach in NCAA history with at least 1,000 victories.

The story is told with interviews her players, her assistants and her son. Her son Tyler serves as a de facto narrator of the film. Tyler essentially grow up as part of her teams. There is a lot of footage of him at different ages with the teams.

Summitt was widely considered one of the toughest coaches in college basketball history, men's or women's. You get a good feel for how tough she was from the interviews with her players and the early footage of her coaching career.

This is a solid documentary. I am not a college woman's basketball fan; I don't follow the sport. Nevertheless, this is great story about a remarkable individual.

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