Tara VanDerveer, winningest basketball coach in NCAA history, retires after 38 seasons at Stanford

ByAlexa Philippou, ESPN ESPN logo
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Tara VanDerveer, the NCAA's winningest basketball coach with 1,216 victories, is retiring, Stanford announced Tuesday evening.

Negotiations are underway for Kaye Paye, a former player under VanDerveer and a longtime member of her staff, to become her successor.

VanDerveer has been one of the most illustrious coaches in the sport, winning three national championships in her 38 seasons at Stanford and guiding them to 14 Final Fours. She previously coached at Idaho (1978-80) and Ohio State (1980-85) as well.

"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 said 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."

VanDerveer will continue to work with Stanford and the Athletics Department in an advisory capacity, the school said.

"Tara's name is synonymous with the sport and women's basketball would not be what it is today without her pioneering work," Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir said in a statement. "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."

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