NCAA’s winningest basketball coach, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer announces her retirement

After 38 seasons, the winningest coach in NCAA college basketball announced her retirement.  Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer is stepping down and her last day will be May 8, the 39th anniversary of her hiring. Associate head coach Kate Paye will succeed her.

“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. “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 ends her career with an NCAA-record 1,216 victories, three national championships (1990, 1992, and 2021), and 14 Final Fours. The Hall of Fame coach’s career spans 45 years as a head coach from Idaho (1978-80), to Ohio State (1980-85) and finally, Stanford (1985-95, 1996-2024),

Paye, who has been a member of VanDerveer’s staff for the past 17 seasons also played under legendary coach from 1991-95. She will become the program’s fifth head coach when she takes the helm.

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,” Stanford Director of Athletics 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 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.”

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