How would you like to be able to practice with one of your all-time favorite coaches in college athletics?
One University of South Dakota graduate was able to do just that.
First-year graduate student Jared Indahl attended the University of Tennessee after working as a guidance counselor at a high school.
Indahl, who grew up originally in Burke, S.D., said after graduating from USD andworking for a year he needed to find a change.
“I wanted to be more involved with sports in my career,” Indahl said. “I went to pursue another undergraduate degree and I had always liked Tennessee athletics so that is why I decided to enroll.”
Already having a degree from USD, Indahl went to Tennessee and was looking for more than just another degree, as he wanted to work closely with the women’s basketball coach Pat Summit.
Indahl said he knew that Summit always had her women’s basketball team practice against men and wanted to figure out how to be apart of that.
He then contacted Summit’s graduate assistant to figure out how to be apart of the Lady Volunteers’ practice.
Once learning that he would have to play pick-up games against current players Indahl said he had to work his way in.
“I played pick-up games against the current players on the team,” Indahl said. “It was kind of like an audition for me to see if I could practice against them.”
Summit, who is the all-time leader in wins for NCAA women’s basketball, stepped down from her head coaching position due to health complications from dementia-Alzheimer’s disease.
Indahl said he was shocked and surprised to hear the announcement happen last week.
“It’s sad to see her step down from this disease because she isn’t even 60 years-old yet,” Indahl said. “Most great coaches get to coach as long as they want to. I think the media had a strong role in having her step down. She just didn’t look herself this year on the bench and the media took notice to that.”
Summit’s assistant of 27 years and former player Holly Warlick will take over as the new women’s basketball coach for Tennessee next season.
Indahl said Summit was a great person to be around because she worked so hard and cared a lot about her job.
“She had great passion and intensity for the game,” Indahl said. “I saw it every day in practice. She loved her job and her team. She always strove to make her team the best it could be.”
Indahl said the experience of working so close to a legendary coach will stay with him for the rest of his life.
“Watching her coach in practice everyday and getting a feel for her philosophy and how she prepares for teams will stick with me,” Indahl said. “Lastly, I can now tell my grandkids (that) I have been in the receiving end of her famous stare.”