Joan Cronan named first winner of NCAA's Pat Summitt Award

INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Tennessee women's athletic director Joan Cronan has been named the first recipient of the NCAA's new Pat Summitt Award.

The Pat Summitt Award was created this year and will annually recognize an individual who positively influenced college athletes and their experiences.

NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a release Wednesday that Cronan had an "exemplary career" and "fostered opportunities for countless young women to succeed in sport and in life."

Award recipients receive a $10,000 honorarium to donate to the organization of the honoree's choice that combats or researches neurological diseases. Cronan plans to donate to the Pat Summitt Foundation.

Cronan was the Tennessee women's athletic director from 1983 to 2012.

The award will be presented Jan. 19 during the NCAA convention in Nashville, Tennessee.