Pat Summitt's legacy transcends even an unparalleled résumé, which trumpets an NCAA-record 1,098 wins, 18 Final Fours, eight national championships, an Olympic gold medal and a place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
It was the penetrating stare that made her the face of women's basketball and unwavering ideals that made her the conscience of it.
Not even Summitt's estimable fortitude, however, could overcome early onset dementia-Alzheimer's type, the disease that cut her coaching career short Wednesday.
Summitt, 59, has stepped aside as Tennessee's women's basketball coach, the position she held for 38 years. She assumed the title "head coach emeritus."
Holly Warlick, an assistant under Summitt for the last 27 years, was named the program's new head coach. Warlick did much of the coaching this past season.
"Pat Summitt, to me, has impacted every woman of my generation," ESPN analyst Doris Burke said. "Not just college athletes. Women across the board."
Burke, who played women's basketball at Providence College, said Summitt's influence coincided with the onset of Title IX, creating life-changing opportunities for women.
"Title IX and Pat Summitt helped change how society views women," Burke said. "I feel indebted to her."
Summitt shared a palpable connection to Connecticut sports fans, who viewed her as a cross between Cruella de Vil and Gloria Steinem. Her spats with UConn coach Geno Auriemma provided enough fodder to move women's basketball to front pages across the country. Their relationship changed for the better, however, following Summitt's announcement of her illness.
Summitt and Auriemma shared a long embrace at the recent Final Four in Denver. They talked more than once throughout the weekend.
"Pat's vision for the game of women's basketball and her relentless drive pushed the game to a new level and made it possible for the rest of us to accomplish what we did," Auriemma said in a statement released through UConn. "In her new role, I'm sure she will continue to make significant impacts on the University of Tennessee and to the game of women's basketball as a whole."
Summitt said in a statement that she intends to tackle her new role with the same verve as her old one.
"I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward," she said. "I would like to emphasize that I fully intend to continue working as head coach emeritus, mentoring and teaching life skills to our players, and I will continue my active role as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer's through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund."
Every Tennessee player who completed her eligibility graduated under Summitt. Seventy-four former players, assistants, graduate assistants, team managers and directors of basketball operations are currently in coaching at every level of basketball.
"The queen of women's basketball," ESPN analyst Carolyn Peck said. "So much attention was brought to the game because of her and the kind of person she is."