Tennessee Lady Volunteers End AP Top 25 Streak at 565 WeeksBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
In February of 1985 Pat Summitt was just more than a decade into her head coaching tenure for the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers. She had only won the SEC Tournament twice and would not win her first NCAA Tournament title for another couple years.
But Summitt started the Lady Vols on a historic streak on Feb. 17, 1985, because that was the first day being ranked in the Associated Press' Top 25 poll every single week for 31 years. Mired in a 2-3 stretch and falling to the bottom half of the SEC standings, Tennessee ended their streak of 565 consecutive weeks being nationally ranked.
The UConn Huskies now own the longest AP Top 25 streak with 428.
Despite her team's recent struggles, head coach Holly Warlick reflected on the historic streak with admiration for those who came before her.
"It's really an amazing streak and a tribute to all of the players and coaches who've contributed to the Lady Vols' rich tradition of excellence," she told The AP. "The results this season haven't been what we wanted, but I assure you my staff and I are working extremely hard to ensure that our players reach their potential and, in turn, help our program attain the level of success we expect at Tennessee."
Warlick took over from Summitt in 2012 after the legendary coach retired due to early-onset Alzheimer's. Summitt made Tennessee a women's basketball powerhouse, winning 16 SEC Tournaments, eight NCAA Championships, seven NCAA Coach of Year Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom honor in 2012. President Obama lauded her not only for her basketball prowess, but for her openness with her fight against Alzheimer's.