After 38 Seasons Leading the Cardinals, Veteran Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerveer Announces Her Retirement

The seasoned Stanford head coach made her retirement announcement on Tuesday night. Next season, the Cardinal will replace her as assistant coach with VanDerveer player Kate Paye. VanDerveer will continue to serve as an advisor for the Stanford athletic department.

VanDerveer coached collegiate basketball for 45 years, the most of which were at Stanford. Her 1,216 career wins will set an NCAA record.

“Basketball is the greatest group project there is and I am so incredibly thankful for every person who has supported me and our teams throughout my coaching career,” VanDerveer stated in a statement. “I’ve been spoiled to coach the best and brightest at one of the world’s foremost institutions for nearly four decades. Coupled with my time at Ohio State and Idaho, and as head coach of the United States National Team, it has been an unforgettable ride. The joy for me was in the journey of each season, seeing a group of young women work hard for each other and form an unbreakable bond. Winning was a byproduct.”

“I’ve loved the game of basketball since I was a little girl, and it has given me so much throughout my life. I hope I’ve been able to give at least a little bit back.”

In 1978, VanDerveer began her career at Idaho. Before moving to Ohio State in 1980, she played for the Buckeyes for two seasons, helping them to three berths in the NCAA tournament.

VanDerveer was then hired at Stanford in 1985, and she rapidly made the school a basketball powerhouse. VanDerveer spent 38 seasons with the Cardinals, making 14 Final Four appearances, 35 NCAA tournament appearances, and three NCAA titles (in 1990, 1992, and 2021).

VanDerveer’s cumulative record at Stanford was 1,065-220. The Cardinal finished 30-6 in the previous campaign, however they were eliminated in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.

Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir stated in a statement, “Tara’s name is synonymous with the sport and women’s basketball would not be what it is today without her pioneering work.” “She has been devoted to this campus for 40 years and a servant to all the student-athletes who have come through her program. Tara built one of the sport’s iconic program’s almost immediately upon her arrival at Stanford, and then maintained that standard for nearly four decades.”

“An energetic and positive teacher, a Hall of Famer, a trusted friend and mentor, Tara’s impact is simply unmatched, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to characterize her as one of the most influential people to ever be associated with this university. We will look forward to finding the appropriate ways to honor her deep impact and legacy here at Stanford.”

As the most successful head coach in Division-I college basketball for both men’s and women’s teams, VanDerveer will close her career. She broke the record set by legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski previous season, while Geno Auriemma of UConn is just behind her with 1,213 victories.

Having served for 17 seasons as an employee, Paye will be expected to guide Stanford through a number of significant transitions. After Cameron Brink announced her intention to enter the WNBA Draft, the Cardinals will be joining the ACC for the upcoming season without her.

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