Stanford's Tara VanDerveer 1 win away from becoming winningest coach in NCAA basketball history

With 1,203 wins, VanDerveer is a coach as modest as she is good.

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Saturday, January 20, 2024
Stanford women's basketball coach 2 wins away from making history
With 1,203 wins, Stanford women's basketball head coach Tara VanDerveer could become the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history.

STANFORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Friday night at Maples Pavilion at Stanford University, history was made.

With a win, long-time Stanford Women's Basketball Coach Tara VanDerveer tied former Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski for the most wins as an NCAA basketball coach, regardless of gender.

Stanford hosted Oregon Friday, where VanDerveer got a chance to tie Coach K's record.

"Records are things that you can be proud of and you can look at a scrapbook later, but right now I just want our team to be healthy, I want our team to have fun and improve," VanDerveer said. "It's as much as a team record as it is my record. So, this would be a very special team to share a team record with."

A coach as modest as she is good, but this is not just any record.

With 1,203 wins, Stanford women's basketball head coach Tara VanDerveer could become the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history.

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But she's passing on any talk about this as a personal achievement.

"Basketball is a team sport. It was invented as a team sport and it always has been and it always will be," VanDerveer said. "So, it is the collective achievement of so many people."

A collection of hundreds of athletes, coaches and staff dating back to her first job in 1978.

After successful years at Idaho and Ohio State, VanDerveer found her way to Stanford University where her teams have done nothing but win.

It's success born from a love of the game at a young age.

"When I was in the third grade, we did the three-player weave in gym class and I was hooked right from there," VanDerveer said. "But when I was growing up, they didn't have girl's teams or programs for girls, so it was very frustrating to love basketball and play all the time with the boys in the neighborhood, but not have a team."

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Now, she's a women's sports icon and a reason why the game has never been more popular.

Accomplishments she says wouldn't be possible without hard work.

"I think basketball, in some ways, it is very much like life," VanDerveer said. "You need to work really hard at being good. If you want to be really good at something, you have to work really hard at it and you have to put a lot of time into it. Basketball isn't like instant oatmeal where you're going to be good just like that. Whether you're a coach or whether you're a player - it's a tremendous commitment."

It's a commitment VanDerveer has dedicated more than 50 years to.

It has all led up to something only two college coaches have ever accomplished.

During the final season of PAC-12 basketball, VanDerveer says this coaching milestone is extra special.

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She's thankful to share it with this team, during a year that she will never forget.

"It's not something I went into saying, 'I want this record'," VanDerveer said. "This year, our kind of theme is 'best year ever.' We just want to compete and have the best year we can have."

Best year ever, for the best coach ever.

Congratulations Tara VanDerveer!

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