Holly Warlick to miss California road trip

For the first time in her coaching career Holly Warlick will not be able to travel with the team because of a medical condition. Warlick, a former Lady Vol player who can't even recall being injured, must remain behind in Knoxville for the West Coast road swing this coming week.

The associate head coach broke her right ankle working out on Dec. 7 and has been on crutches ever since. She felt a knot in her calf on Friday and made a trip to the doctor's office to see her physician, Dr. Amy Bentley.

"It's strictly a health issue, not my decision, but I've got to do what the doctor says, and that's where it stands," Warlick said. "I felt like there was a lump, a knot in my muscle. I had an ultrasound, and it came up."

The ultrasound showed a blood clot in her calf. Flying long distances with a blood clot can be life threatening. The Lady Vols leave Monday to fly to Los Angeles for a Wednesday game against UCLA. They travel to Stanford later in the week for a Saturday game and then fly home to Tennessee.

The next road trip is to Chicago for a game with DePaul on Jan. 2. Warlick said her flying status would be re-evaluated prior to that trip.

"It'll be the first time since she's been on my coaching staff that she's not going to be able to travel," Head Coach Pat Summitt said.

Warlick, who played for Tennessee from 1976 to 1980, is in her 23rd year as a Lady Vols coach.

Senior guard Alexis Hornbuckle said it would be odd to not have Warlick with the team.

"It is going to be a little different, especially when we're at shoot-around or practice and we're doing our shooting drills," Hornbuckle said. "We're very traditional, and we have to do things the same way every time. It's going to be a little different, and we'll miss her, but we know she'll be watching, and I'm sure we will get her messages."

Warlick will still prepare the scouting reports for the UCLA and Stanford games and will give the info to Nikki Caldwell and Dean Lockwood, the assistant coaches.

"I'm still doing the scout," Warlick said. "I'm just going to send it on, and Nikki and Dean are going to present it. I've scouted Stanford since I've been here so I couldn't turn that over, and UCLA, as well."

Debby Jennings, the associate athletics director for media relations, has been designated as the go-to to get Warlick's calls to the coaching staff.

"Debby Jennings will be sitting right next to Pat, so I think we'll be in close contact throughout the next two games," Warlick said. "I really have not been injured so it's a little strange for me."

Another big adjustment will be having to get game information the way fans do – from the radio against UCLA and watching television against Stanford.

"That's going to be difficult," Warlick said. "Tonight I didn't get up (off the bench) and that was difficult, too. But they're well prepared; they'll handle it. They'll be fine. They're well coached, and they'll be well prepared.

"I'll just have to be a fan and yell at the radio and the TV."

Oddly enough, Summitt was already at the physician's office when Warlick arrived Friday.

"It was ironic Pat was there, too," Warlick said. "It was a group decision."

Summitt quickly noted that she was fine.

"I'm OK," Summitt said. "We're not falling apart."

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