PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA/AP) – Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in Division I college basketball history who helped boost the women’s game to the big time in a 38-year career at Tennessee, has died at 64.

With an icy glare on the sidelines, Summitt led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and prominence on a campus steeped in the traditions of the football-rich south until she retired in 2012.

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Her son, Tyler Summitt, issued a statement Tuesday morning saying his mother died peacefully at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most.

Tyler’s statement said “since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, `Alzheimer’s Type’ … and we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease. ”

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“It’s a devastating day for women’s basketball because she’s an icon. She really paved the way for all the young coaches coming up in the game,”Pitt Women’s basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio told the “KDKA Morning News.”

McConnell-Serio says that Summitt’s influence will continue to influence those she knew, but also those she doesn’t know because of how strongly she affected the game of basketball.

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