Within the annals of ladies’s school basketball, Geno Auriemma is the alpha, Pat Summitt the omega, and everybody else falls someplace in between. Everybody, that’s, however Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer, who entered the stratosphere of legendary lately by profitable her 1,000th profession recreation. It was bittersweet for VanDerveer to affix Summitt within the 1,000-win membership, as the 2 have been pricey pals, however Summitt wasn’t round to take pleasure in it.
What I really like about VanDerveer’s achievement is that 31 of her 38 seasons have been spent at Stanford, the place educational excellence supersedes athletic accomplishment on daily basis of the yr, making it doubly tough to excel at such a excessive degree for therefore lengthy. It is the identical factor with nice performances on the Cals and Rices and Ivy League faculties of the world. Your athletes are recruited in the beginning due to their teachers, all the pieces else is a distant second. An educator first herself, VanDerveer realized from her errors towards each UConn and Tennessee, breaking their stranglehold over the game a number of instances. Her Cardinal knocked off UConn within the Last 4 in 2008 and took the Huskies’ 90-game win streak in 2010. She performed herself at Indiana, the place she obtained have a look at Bobby Knight and his mentality about observe and the sport itself. Her coach profession began at Idaho, then went to Ohio State, earlier than Stanford got here calling in 1985. She had lead Ohio State to No. 7 and an Elite Eight look in 1984. Success did not observe her instantly to Stanford the place her first two groups went 27-29 total. However as soon as her personal recruits have been in place, issues obtained good in a rush with a 27-5 file and a visit to the Candy 16. In 1989, Stanford gained the Pac-10 convention title for the primary time. The Cardinal would make a behavior of that, profitable 5 in a row, and taking 9 of the subsequent 10 and profitable one other 15 straight between 2001 and 2015.
Maybe the one factor extra spectacular than her file at Stanford was the yr she took away from this system to get the US Olympic Ladies’s Basketball Crew again into its powerhouse place on the earth hierarchy. As a substitute of fielding a workforce a couple of weeks earlier than the worldwide showcase, VanDerveer concocted the plan of a complete yr of improvement. It labored like a attraction because the US workforce went 60-Zero that yr, together with 8-Zero within the Olympics to take the gold. On the faculty court docket, she’s led Stanford to 2 nationwide titles – 1990 and 1992 and gained Nationwide Coach of the 12 months honors 4 instances. Maybe her greatest stat of all is what number of of her gamers have gone on to be coaches elsewhere in basketball – a complete of 18 so far together with head coaches: Jennifer Azzi (San Francisco), Beth Burns (San Diego State); June Daugherty (Washington State College); Molly Goodenbour (Cal-State Dominguez Hills); Bobbie Kelsey (Wisconsin-Madison); Karen Middleton (Western Carolina College); Julie Rousseau (Pepperdine); Charlie Turner Thorne (Arizona State); and Heidi VanDerveer (UCSD).