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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tara VanDerveer, Stanford legendary women’s basketball coach, announces retirement

Stanford Cardinal’s Cameron Brink (22) dumps confetti on Stanford Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer as she is congratulated following Stanfords’ 65-56 win over Oregon State Beavers to become the winningest NCAA basketball coach in history at 1,203 wins at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024.  (Tribune News Service)
By Darren Sabedra Bay Area News Group

STANFORD – After 45 seasons, an NCAA-record 1,216 victories and three national championships, Stanford women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer has called it a career.

The legendary coach announced her retirement on Tuesday night in a news release by the school’s athletic department.

“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, 70, said. “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.”

There is no question who will replace VanDerveer. In the same release, the school said negotiations are underway with Kate Paye to become VanDerveer’s successor. Paye played under VanDerveer in 1991-95 and has been a member of her staff for the past 17 seasons.

Paye would become the program’s fifth head coach beginning with the 2024-25 season, leading the Cardinal’s transition from the Pac-12 to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Before arriving at Stanford in 1985, VanDerveer was the head coach at Idaho from 1978 to 1980 and Ohio State from 1980 to 1985. While at Stanford, Vanderveer coached Central Valley High School twins Lexie and Lacie Hull.

She became the all-time winningest coach this past season, then led the Cardinal to a Pacific-12 Conference regular-season championship and to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

“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. “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.”