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Longtime Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer is retiring after 38 seasons with the Cardinal

Longtime Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer is retiring after 38 seasons with the Cardinal

Tara VanDerveer is calling it a career.

The longtime Stanford head coach announced Tuesday night that she is retiring. The Cardinals will promote assistant coach Kate Bye, who played for VanDerveer, to replace her next season. VanDerveer will remain with the Stanford Athletic Department in an advisory capacity.

VanDerveer spent 45 seasons coaching college basketball, most of them at Stanford. She would finish her career with an NCAA record of 1,216 wins.

“Basketball is the greatest team enterprise ever, and I am extremely grateful to every person who has supported me and our team throughout my coaching career,” VanDerveer said in a statement. “I have been spoiled with coaching the best and the brightest at one of the world's premier institutions for nearly four decades. Combined with my time at Ohio State, Idaho, and as head coach of the US National Team, it has been an unforgettable experience.” For me lies the journey of each season, as I see a group of young women working hard for each other and forming an unbreakable bond. Winning was a byproduct.

“I've loved the game of basketball since I was a little girl, and it's given me so much throughout my life. I hope I'm able to at least give back.”

Tara VanDerveer is the winningest coach in both men's and women's basketball.

Tara VanDerveer is the winningest coach in both men's and women's basketball. (Photo by John Todd/NCAA via Getty Images)

VanDerveer got her start at Idaho in 1978. She spent two seasons there before landing at Ohio State in 1980, where she led the Buckeyes to three NCAA Tournament appearances.

Stanford then hired VanDerveer in 1985, and she quickly turned the program into a basketball powerhouse. In her 38 seasons with the Cardinal, VanDerveer has reached the NCAA Tournament 35 times, made 14 Final Fours and won three NCAA Championships — first in 1990, then again in 1992 and 2021.

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VanDerveer finished with a 1,065-220 overall record at Stanford. The Cardinal went 30-6 last season, despite being eliminated from the NCAA Tournament in the Elite Eight.

“Tara’s name is synonymous with the sport, and women’s basketball would not be what it is today without her pioneering work,” Stanford athletic director Bernard Moyer said in a statement. “She has dedicated herself to this campus for 40 years and has been a servant to all of the student-athletes who have come through her program. Tara built an elite athletic program upon her arrival at Stanford, then maintained that standard for nearly four decades.

“An energetic and positive teacher, Hall of Famer, and trusted friend and mentor, Tara’s influence is simply unparalleled, and I do not think it is an exaggeration to describe her as one of the most influential people ever associated with this university.”… We will look to find appropriate ways to honor “Her profound impact and legacy here at Stanford.”

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VanDerveer will finish her career as a winningest head coach in Division I men's and women's college basketball. She passed the record set by longtime Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski last season, though UConn coach Geno Auriemma is right behind her with 1,213 wins.

Paye, who has been on the staff for 17 seasons, will be charged with leading Stanford as it goes through several major changes. The Cardinals will enter the ACC next season, and will do so without superstar Cameron Brink after he declared for the WNBA draft.

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While conference realignment will change a lot of things for Stanford women's basketball next season, VanDerveer said Wednesday that the move to the ACC has nothing to do with her retirement. She said that at this point in her life she was simply ready to move on.

“I wanted to give myself some time when the season is over, but the timing seems right,” VanDerveer said Wednesday. Via Marissa Ingmi of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It had nothing to do with going to the ACC, it was a catalyst for wanting to stay.”

As for her replacement, VanDerveer has no doubts about Paye at all. She has more than paid her dues to get to this point.

“Kate would be great,” she said He said. “No one will ever outdo Kate.”