COLLEGES + UNIVERSITIES

Tara VanDerveer retires as Stanford women’s hoops coach after setting NCAA wins record this year

Apr 10, 2024, 7:00 AM | Updated: Apr 11, 2024, 8:17 am

Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer reacts toward players during the first half of the team's secon...

Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer reacts toward players during the first half of the team's second-round college basketball game in the women's NCAA Tournament against Iowa State in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, March 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Tara VanDerveer, the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history, announced she’ll retire Tuesday night after 38 seasons leading the Stanford women’s team and 45 overall.

The 70-year-old VanDerveer surpassed Mike Krzyzewski for the wins record earlier this year. The Hall of Famer departs with 1,216 victories at Idaho, Ohio State and Stanford.

VanDerveer gave her time and energy to a young Dawn Staley behind the scenes years before the South Carolina coach started winning championships or delivering an improbable undefeated season.

The Hall of Fame Stanford coach did the same for her Pac-12 rivals.

For Cori Close. For Lindsay Gottlieb. For Charmin Smith. For Charli Turner Thorne. And for Kate Paye, who will become VanDerveer’s successor now that the 70-year-old women’s basketball pioneer is retiring.

Nearly everybody has a story of how VanDerveer went out of her way to do something kind along the way during her decorated, four-decade career. She cherished her role in helping the sport any way she could. And now, she is leaving on a high note.

Related: Utah women’s basketball team forced to move hotels after racial hate crimes during NCAA Tournament

As has been the plan for years, top Cardinal assistant Kate Paye is set to take over the program, and the school said negotiations with Paye are underway. Paye played for VanDerveer from 1991-95 and has coached on her staff for 17 years.

VanDerveer’s last day is scheduled for May 8 — the 39th anniversary of her hiring.

Her Stanford teams won NCAA titles in 1990, ’92 and 2021 and reached the Final Four 14 times.

She departs with 1,216 victories at Idaho, Ohio State and Stanford.

“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 in a statement. “I’ve been spoiled to coach the best and brightest at one of the world’s foremost institutions for nearly four decades.”

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Tara VanDerveer retires as Stanford women’s hoops coach after setting NCAA wins record this year