Lady Vols head coach Holly Warlick's mother, Fran Warlick, never dreamed that her daughter would one day be the face of the very team she played for.
Cheering her on game after game and watching her little girl grow from a sports fan, to an athlete, to a coach was just a part of life. Fran Warlick said she thinks the coaching position is a wonderful accomplishment and something neither Warlick ever thought possible.
"It's been quite an experience and she's just elated," Fran Warlick said.
The years and the program have been good to Holly Warlick and Fran Warlick said she thinks her daughter's success is due to her own drive, head coach emeritus Pat Summitt's influence and the support of Tennessee itself.
"I've really appreciated all that the university and Pat has done for Holly," Fran Warlick said. "I feel like Pat just took her under her wing and she's really enjoyed Pat and more or less puts her up on a pedestal. She thinks she's the 'cat's pajamas.'"
During Holly Warlick's 32 years (coaching and playing) at UT, her mother said she never heard her daughter say anything negative about Summitt.
"(Summitt's) decisions were her decisions and (Holly) went along with them," Fran Warlick said.
Summitt's decisions continue to shape Warlick's coaching style.
"I think it's everything with her. I'm sure she has some of her inputs, but I'm sure a lot of it stems from her playing and coaching with Pat," Fran Warlick said. "I think (Summitt's) been a great influence."
Fran Warlick said when she hears people talk about Summitt's stare and determination she just shakes her head. She said that while Holly Warlick has worked with Summitt for several years, it was growing up that developed her ability to deal with "the look."
Holly Warlick said she had too much respect for Summitt to not do what she was told. As with her mother, she was afraid of the consequences and tried not to do anything to deserve them.
"They kept talking about Pat's look, I used to snap my fingers and give them one of my looks," Fran Warlick said of her kids. "I'm very disciplined and I say what I mean and I mean what I say."
That said, the transition from associate head coach under Summitt to head coach is a process that had more than fans nervous.
"Those are hard shoes to fill," Fran Warlick said. "People would tell me, 'I'd rather be the second one to follow Pat Summitt, not the first one,' but (I) always said 'somebody's gotta do it.'"
The support of Lady Vol fans made the transition less difficult.
"It's so nice that they're so complimentary," Fran Warlick said of her daughter's fans. "It gives you courage and I try to pass it on to Holly that they're behind her."
Fran Warlick said her first thoughts when she heard Holly Warlick would be transitioning to head coach were toward seating.
"Does this mean I get better seats?" Fran Warlick said, jokingly. "I'm gonna see where Cuonzo Martin's mother sits."
In reality, Fran Warlick said she's glad she doesn't sit near Holly or the team.
"Are you kidding?" Fran Warlick answered. "I'd be saying, 'for God's sake, what are you putting her in for? She hasn't hit a basket all night!'"
For now, the two Warlick ladies are enjoying the season they're in, coaching and cheering on their Lady Vols. Holly said she thinks the transition has been incredibly smooth.
"As a player I was taught all the aspects of coaching and the positions and I thought Pat's always done a great job in preparing myself and anybody else to learn the game," Holly Warlick said. "We just didn't think about this happening," Fran Warlick said. "She was blessed to be chosen."