Stanford's Tara VanDerveer announces retirement after 38 seasons

Longtime Stanford Director of Women's Basketball Tara VanDerveer announced her retirement on Tuesday, according to a press release from Stanford Athletics. 

VanDerveer, the legendarywomen's team coach, will be stepping down from her role on May 8, and she will be moving into an advisory position with Stanford and the Athletics Department. May 8 is the 39th anniversary of her original date of hire. 

Stanford is currently negotiating with Kate Paye, a former player of VanDerveer's, to take over the role. 

VanDerveer has been a head coach for 45 years, working from Idaho to Ohio State and landing at Stanford University. She retires with 1,216 career wins, making her the winningest coach in NCAA history, a record she set this past January when she passed legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. 

VanDerveer not only racked up wins, she also delivered championships, leading the Cardinal to 14 Final Four appearances and three national championships, the most recent coming in 2021 when the Cardinal beat Arizona for the title.

Kate Paye of Stanford Athletics

She did take one year off from Stanford in 1995, and she did so to coach team USA. That team went 60 and zero, won the Olympic gold medal in 1996 in Atlanta, and is widely considered the greatest women's team ever assembled. In 2011, VanDerveer was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Now, at age 70, the time was just right for her to say goodbye to a sport that she loves. 

"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."

Stanford will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 1 p.m., but it will be closed to the public.