Tennessee made it to the regional championship, but fell to Georgia again, 67–63. However, Summitt rallied her team and finished 22–10, for her eighth straight 20-win season, a streak that still continues.
Summitt won her 200th game on December 3, a 69–56 victory over St. Tennessee not only made it to the NCAA Final Four for the second time in the first three tournaments, but also made it to the title game.
Starting with the 1976–77 season, Summitt directed two 20-win teams, winning back-to-back AIAW Region II championships.
The Lady Vols defeated 3-time AIAW champion Delta State by 20 points in 1978, and earned Tennessee its first number one ranking.
She won eight NCAA championships (a NCAA women's record when she retired), a number surpassed only by the 10 titles won by UCLA men's coach John Wooden and the 11 titles won by UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma.
She was the first NCAA basketball coach, and one of six college coaches overall, with at least 1,000 wins.
The 1981–82 season featured the first ever NCAA Women's basketball tournament.
In 1986–87, Tennessee broke through and defeated perennial power Louisiana Tech 67–44 to win the Lady Vols first national title.
Summitt recalled that era of women's basketball during a February 2009 interview with Time.
"I had to drive the van when I first started coaching," Summitt said. We didn't think anything about it." employed a six-person game where offensive and defensive players never crossed mid-court.
However, Tennessee lost by 11 to USC, which also had won the title the previous year. This season was followed up by another 20-win year in which Tennessee earned both the regular season SEC title (despite only going 4–4) and the tournament title.
However, the Lady Vols fell in the NCAA Tournament to Ole Miss during the round of 16.