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Stanford Athletics | April 10, 2024

Tara VanDerveer announces retirement after 38 seasons coaching Stanford women's basketball

Tara VanDerveer passes Coach K for most wins in college basketball history

STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford's Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball Tara VanDerveer, who has won more NCAA college basketball games than any coach in history, announced her retirement on Tuesday, April 9. Negotiations are underway with Kate Paye, who played under VanDerveer from 1991-95 and has been a member of her staff for the past 17 seasons, to become VanDerveer's successor. Paye would become the program's fifth head coach beginning with the 2024-25 season.
 
In 45 years as a head coach at Idaho (1978-80), Ohio State (1980-85) and Stanford (1985-95, 1996-2024), VanDerveer amassed an NCAA-record 1,216 victories. In 38 seasons at Stanford, she led the Cardinal to three NCAA championships – 1990, 1992 and 2021 – and 14 Final Fours.

🐐 Tara VanDerveer's path to becoming the winningest coach in college basketball
 
"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," said VanDerveer. "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."

Tara VanDerveer cuts down the net after winning her third national championship in 2021.Tara VanDerveer cuts down the net after winning her third national championship in 2021.

 
VanDerveer will continue to work with Stanford and the Athletics Department in an advisory capacity.
 
"Tara's name is synonymous with the sport and women's basketball would not be what it is today without her pioneering work," said Stanford's Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics Bernard Muir. "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 programs 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."
 
VanDerveer's last day on The Farm will be May 8, on the 39th anniversary of her original hire.

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