February 3, 2017, marked a historic day for Tara Vanderveer, head coach of Stanford University, as she recorded her 1,000th career win with a 58-42 victory over the University of Southern California.
Vanderveer is the second female women’s basketball coach to join the 1,000-win club — chasing only the record set by Pat Summit — and gives her the fourth-highest wins total in all of NCAA basketball.
“It’s a team sport,” said Vanderveer. “This one thousandth win is because I’ve had a great staff, worked at a great university and I have great, great players.”
Vanderveer graduated from Indiana University where she at guard for three seasons. She became head coach at Idaho in 1978 and after two years there was hired at Ohio State. Vanderveer led the Buckeyes to three No. 1 finishes in the Big Ten Conference standings and three NCAA tournament berths, including one appearance in the Elite Eight. Vanderveer took the head coaching job at Stanford in 1985 and the rest is “herstory.”
A decade into her time with the Cardinal, Vanderveer decided to coach the 1995-96 USA Basketball National Team. The team managed a perfect 52-0 exhibition record, going on to win Olympic gold at the Atlanta Games. She returned to Stanford just as she left — earning a first-place finish in the Pac-10 Conference and a trip to the NCAA Women’s Final Four.
In 37 years as head coach, Vanderveer’s postseason play — including two NCAA Championships, two national runners-up finishes, seven NCAA Final Four visits, seven NCAA Elite Eight trips, and five NCAA Sweet Sixteen berths — highlights her ability to build strong teams and to drive them to reach their potential.
The push for success not only lies in the direction of the student-athletes, it is also engraved in Vanderveer’s approach to coaching and is reflected by an ever-growing list of honors and accolades. Many coach of the year acknowledgments are tied to her legacy, which includes twice being named WBCA National Coach of the Year, two Naismith Coach of the Year honors, and 14 Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards. Vanderveer was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 and into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Congratulations, Coach Vanderveer, on your historic win, and thank you for your dedication to the sport.