In a storied 34-year coaching career, Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women's Basketball and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2011 member Tara VanDerveer has established herself as one of the top coaches in the history of both collegiate and international women's basketball.
Regarded in the profession as one of the most well-respected and dynamic coaches in the country, VanDerveer was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. in August 2011. In 2002, she was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.
An ambassador for both Stanford University and the sport of college basketball, VanDerveer has enjoyed an unprecedented level of success through an energetic and positive approach to the game. A 15-time conference coach of the year (13 Pac-12, two Big Ten), VanDerveer has accumulated an impressive 894-203 (.815) record over her 34-year career.
Entering the 2013-14 season VanDerveer is six wins shy of becoming just the fifth Division I women's basketball coach to win 900 games. VanDerveer won her 800th game on Dec. 22, 2010 when Stanford defeated San Francisco, 100-45, on The Hilltop.
VanDerveer possesses the third-highest career winning percentage among Division I women's basketball coaches, and has won two NCAA Championships and 24 conference titles (21 Pac-12, three Big Ten). Last year's trip to the NCAA Tournament was the 27th postseason appearance and 10th Final Four trip of her career.
Over 27 seasons at Stanford, she owns an amazing 742-152 (.830) record. She has led the Cardinal to two NCAA Championships (1990, 1992), 10 NCAA Final Four appearances (1990-92, 1995-97, 2008-12), 21 Pac-12 Conference titles, 10 Pac-10 Tournament crowns and 24 trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Over the past six seasons, VanDerveer has overseen one of the most successful programs in the nation as the Cardinal has accumulated a record of 205-19 (.915) and been one of just two programs to reach the Final Four at least five times. Stanford is also one of just four teams to reach the national title game twice since 2007-08.
The 2011-12 campaign was yet another for the record books for Stanford, as VanDerveer guided the Cardinal to a 35-2 record and its fifth straight Final Four appearance, earning her 12th Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor along the way. Stanford Final Four appearance was its 11th overall, moving the Cardinal alone into third place all-time.
VanDerveer and the Cardinal captured the inaugural Pac-12 regular-season and tournament crowns, their 12th and sixth in a row, respectively. The feat also marked the eighth time that Stanford has captured the Pac-12 double, sweeping both the regular-season and tournament titles.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike would be named Pac-12 Player of the Year while younger sister Chiney Ogwumike captured the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award, and the sisters would also be named to the WBCA Coaches' All-America Team. The pair, along with guard Toni Kokenis, would be named to the All-Pac-12 Team while freshmen Taylor Greenfield and Amber Orrange would be named All-Freshman Team honorable mention.
A year prior (2010-11), Stanford became the fourth program in women's basketball history to reach 10 Final Fours. VanDerveer guided the Cardinal to a 33-3 record, the team's fourth straight 30-win season, and the program's 11th straight Pac-10 title with a perfect 18-0 run through the conference schedule. Stanford would also capture the Pac-10 Tournament crown for the fifth year in a row.
For her accomplishments, VanDerveer took home national coach of the year honors from the Associated Press, WBCA and the Atlanta Tip-Off Club (Naismith Trophy), and collected her 11th Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor.
Under VanDerveer's tutelage four players (Chiney Ogwumike, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, Kayla Pedersen, Jeanette Pohlen) would be named to the All-Pac-10 Team, while Pohlen and Chiney Ogwumike went on to earn the Pac-10's Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards, respectively. Pohlen (first team), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (second team) and Pedersen (honorable mention) would all earn All-America honors from the Associated Press, while Ogwumike earned her second straight nod to the State Farm Coaches' All-America Team.
Stanford reached its third straight Final Four in 2010, playing in the national championship game for the second time in three years. Stanford broke its two-year-old program record for wins with 36, and went 18-0 in Pac-10 play for the fifth time in program history en route to its 19th Pac-10 regular season title. The Cardinal would end up pulling off the double as it added the Pac-10 Tournament crown to its haul in March.
For the first time in program history, VanDerveer had two of her players named to the State Farm Coaches' All-America Team, as center Jayne Appel and forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike were both selected for the honor. Four of the Cardinal's starters were named to the All-Pac-10 Team, with Ogwumike being named Player of the Year, as Stanford ended the year ranked second in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls.
The 2008-09 season featured VanDerveer guiding Stanford to its second consecutive Final Four appearance and eighth overall, finishing the year with a 33-5 record. The Cardinal, with a 17-1 conference record, garnered its ninth straight Pac-10 regular season title as well as the sixth Pac-10 Tournament crown in program history. For her efforts, VanDerveer herself was honored with coach of the year accolades from both the WBCA Region 8 and the Pac-10.
Under VanDerveer's tutelage, Cardinal players earned seven All-Pac-10 honors, with center Jayne Appel capturing Pac-10 Player of the Year honors as well as being named to the State Farm Coaches' All-America Team. By the end of the season, Stanford was ranked second in the Associated Press poll and third in the final ESPN/USA Today poll.
In 2007-08, VanDerveer led the Cardinal back to the Final Four and to the national championship game in Tampa Bay. Under her tutelage, the Cardinal posted a program-record 35 wins, besting the previous high of 34 wins earned by the 1996-97 squad. Besides rolling to a 35-4 record, the Cardinal posted a 16-2 mark in Pac-10 play, earning its eighth straight conference title.
Stanford's 105-47 victory over Washington State on Dec. 28, 2007 gave VanDerveer career win No. 700, making her just the seventh Division I women's basketball coach to reach the prestigious mark.
The season consisted of many memorable moments. Stanford recorded unforgettable victories such as its 73-69 overtime win at Maples Pavilion over No. 1 Tennessee on Dec. 22, 2007, its 98-87 Spokane Regional Final victory over No. 1 seed Maryland on March 31, which punched the Cardinal's ticket to its seventh Final Four, and the 82-73 victory over No. 1 Connecticut at the Final Four on April 6, propelling Stanford into the national title game.
Under VanDerveer's guidance, Cardinal players earned a lion's share of accolades. Senior guard Candice Wiggins was named the State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year, and her selection to the State Farm/WBCA All-America Team made her Stanford's first-ever four-time All-American. Wiggins also became the first player in Pac-10 history to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year for the third time. In addition, Jayne Appel was named, along with Wiggins, to the All-Pac-10 First Team, while freshman Kayla Pedersen earned Freshman of the Year honors and a spot on the All-Pac-10 Third Team.
VanDerveer's contributions to the sport of women's basketball reach far outside the collegiate world. She became internationally known in 1996 when she guided the United States Olympic Women's Basketball Team to the gold medal in Atlanta. VanDerveer led the National/Olympic team, which included Stanford products Jennifer Azzi and Katy Steding, to an incredible 60-0 record from 1995-1996. Overall, VanDerveer has compiled an 88-8 (.917) record, including four gold medals, in eight head coaching stints with USA Basketball.
VanDerveer at Stanford
VanDerveer, who was named the third women's basketball coach in Stanford University history on May 7, 1985, has guided the Cardinal to a 742-152 record in 27 seasons, including a 407-59 (.873) record in regular season Pac-12 play.
Under her leadership, Stanford has captured two NCAA Titles and made 10 Final Four appearances. Additionally, her teams have reached the Elite Eight 15 times and the Sweet 16 on 19 occasions. VanDerveer's teams are 67-23 (.744) in NCAA Tournament play. With a 33-3 record in 2012-13, the Cardinal has won 30 or more games 12 times and 20 or more games 23 times under VanDerveer's watch.
VanDerveer's teams have also compiled a 373-34 (.917) home record during her tenure, and have posted 12 perfect seasons at Maples Pavilion, including a program-record 82-game home winning streak from Nov. 28, 2007 to Dec. 29, 2012.
Stanford teams have been dominant in both the Pac-12 and nationally, as evident by VanDerveer's numerous awards. She is a four-time National Coach of the Year (1988, 1989, 1990, 2011), a seven-time District/Region Coach of the Year (1988, 1989, 1990, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011), and has been named Pac-12 Coach of the Year 13 times (1989, 1990, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013). Additionally, VanDerveer earned Northern California Women's Intercollegiate Coach of the Year honors five times in a six-year span in the late 80's and early 90's (1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993).
Perhaps one of VanDerveer's most notable attributes is her ability to connect with student-athletes and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of college athletics. Considered one of the nation's premier recruiters, VanDerveer and her staff routinely bring top classes to The Farm. The Stanford staff brought in the likes of Jennifer Azzi and Kate Starbird, both of whom won women's basketball's highest individual honor - the James Naismith National Player of the Year Award (Azzi 1990; Starbird 1997) - as well as Candice Wiggins, who in 2008 joined Azzi (1990) as Stanford's second recipient of the State Farm/WBCA Wade Trophy Player of the Year Award. First-team All-Americans that have flourished under VanDerveer's guidance include Wiggins (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), the program's first and only four-time All-American to date, Jayne Appel (2009, 2010), Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2010, 2011, 2012), Chiney Ogwumike (2012, 2013), Jeanette Pohlen (2011), Nicole Powell (2002, 2003, 2004), Kristin Folkl (1998), Sonja Henning (1991) and Val Whiting (1992, 1993). Overall, VanDerveer has guided her players to two Wade Trophy Player of the Year honors, two Naismith Player of the Year honors, 23 first-team All-America honors, 17 Pac-12 Player of the Year awards, 59 First-Team All-Pac-10 selections and 36 appointments to USA Basketball teams.
VanDerveer's alumnae have also made their mark on the professional level in both the WNBA and the ABL. In 2001, Stanford had a league-high 10 players on WNBA rosters. That dominating trend stretches back to 1996, when Stanford had nine players on opening day rosters in the ABL's inaugural season, the most of any institution.
In 2007, Brooke Smith and Kristen Newlin became Stanford's first WNBA selections since Nicole Powell in 2004, and in 2008, Wiggins was taken third overall by the Minnesota Lynx. Wiggins would end up capping off an impressive rookie campaign by being named the WNBA's Sixth Woman of the Year in September, 2008. In 2010, Jayne Appel would be selected fifth overall by the San Antonio Silver Stars and be named to the WNBA All-Star Team. A year later, Kayla Pedersen (No. 7 - Tulsa Shock) and Jeanette Pohlen (No. 9 - Indiana Fever) would both be selected in the first round of the 2011 WNBA Draft.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike became the first Stanford player to go No. 1 in the WNBA Draft when the Los Angeles Sparks made her the top choice of the 2012 Draft.
At the start of the 2013 WNBA season, Stanford boasted six alumnae on the league's active roster, with all six being former first-round picks.
The Cardinal earned its second championship in 1991-92, despite the loss of three First-Team All-Pac-10 players (Sonja Henning, Trisha Stevens and Julie Zeilstra) from the previous season. The Cardinal won its first 10 games, finished 15-3 in conference play to win its fourth straight Pac-10 title, and went into the NCAA Tournament on an upswing behind the play of Kodak First-Team All-American Val Whiting. Stanford defeated Western Kentucky, 78-62, in the championship game to end the season with its second national title in three years and a 30-3 record.
Prior to Stanford
During that time, the Buckeyes won four Big Ten Championships (1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85), compiled four consecutive 20-win seasons and made three NCAA Tournament appearances (1981-82, 1983-84, 1984-85). In 1984-85, Ohio State finished seventh in the national rankings and fell to eventual national champion Old Dominion by four points in the East Regional Final. She was twice named Big Ten Coach of the Year (1983-84, 1984-85) during her tenure in Columbus.
Before Ohio State, VanDerveer served as head coach at the University of Idaho. In two seasons in Moscow (1978-79, 1979-80), she brought unprecedented success to Vandal women's basketball. The Vandals went 42-14 in her two seasons and advanced to the AIAW Tournament (predecessor to the NCAA Tournament) in 1980.
In addition to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame and Indiana University Hall of Fame, VanDerveer has also been inducted into the Women's Sports Foundation Hall of Fame and the Greater Buffalo Hall of Fame.
An avid piano player in her spare time, VanDerveer was born June 26, 1953. A Boston native who grew up in upstate New York, she is also a published author. Her book Shooting From The Outside, which chronicled her 1996 Olympic and National Team experience, was released in September 1997.
VanDerveer is also not the only basketball coach in the family. Her sister, Heidi, was named the head coach of the women's basketball team at UC San Diego in May 2012 after four successful seasons at Occidental College in Occidental, Calif., and has spent over two decades as an assistant and head coach on both the collegiate and professional levels.
VanDerveer and USA Basketball
The 1995-96 National Team posted a record of 52-0 before Olympic competition. At the XXVI Olympiad in Atlanta, VanDerveer's team went 8-0, including a 111-87 defeat of Brazil in the final to capture the gold medal. The gold medal by VanDerveer's team was the third in five Olympic competitions for U.S. women.
Prior to Atlanta, VanDerveer led the team to a perfect 52-0 record during a tour of the globe in 1995 and 1996, including a 20-0 mark against U.S. collegiate opposition. Coupled with the performance in Atlanta, VanDerveer finished her one-year appointment with an amazing 60-0 record.
For those efforts, VanDerveer was honored as the 1996 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year. She was also selected as the 1996 USOC Elite Basketball Coach of the Year.
Prior to coaching the National Team, VanDerveer directed the 1994 USA Goodwill Games Team to a 4-0 record and the gold medal in St. Petersburg, Russia. Also in 1994, she led the USA World Championship Team to the bronze medal and a tournament-best record of 7-1 in Australia. One year earlier, VanDerveer helped the United States earn its FIBA World Championship berth by coaching the team to a gold medal at the 1993 World Championship Qualifying Tournament in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In 1991, VanDerveer's USA World University Games team posted an 8-0 record and won the gold medal in Sheffield, England. VanDerveer also coached the 1990 USA Select Team and the 1986 U.S. Olympic Festival East Team.