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KNOXVILLE, TN (AP) – Pat Summitt is stepping aside as Tennessee’s women’s basketball coach and taking the title of “head coach emeritus” with long-time assistant Holly Warlick being promoted to replace the sport’s winningest coach.

Tennessee released a statement Wednesday announcing the move.

Summitt will report to the athletic director and help the women’s program she guided to eight national titles. The 59-year-old Summitt said in a statement she loved being head coach but recognizes the time has come to step into a new role. She says she supports Warlick as her replacement and wants to ensure the stability of the program.

The move comes less than a year after her diagnosis with early onset dementia-Alzheimer’s type.

Warlick has been Summitt’s assistant for 27 seasons and was a three-time All-American with the Lady Vols.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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