VanDerveer quietly chalks up milestone

With all the craze building around men’s college basketball and March Madness, the Bay Area made the mistake of overlooking a legend in our own neighborhood.

Tara VanDerveer, the head coach of Stanford’s women’s basketball team, has been piling up wins at Stanford since 1985. Saturday night’s 27-point drubbing of Utah was VanDerveer’s 700th win at Stanford and 852nd overall. VanDerveer coached at Idaho and Ohio State before joining The Farm.

Asked if she’s already thinking about 800 career wins in Palo Alto, VanDerveer, the 58-year-old basketball hall of famer, told the Merc:

“I’m enjoying coaching, I’m enjoying it a lot. That’s only three years if you can get 30 (victories) a year.”

VanDerveer’s last four Cardinal teams have amassed 30+ wins, and this year’s team on its way past that number yet again. Those previous four teams all made it to the Final Four, and this year’s is on track to make it five straight.

VanDerveer accounts for 700 of the 876 wins in the 36+ years of the Stanford program, and is responsible for the two national championship banners that hang in Maples Pavilion.

Her 852 wins (and counting) VanDerveer is 5th All-Time among Women’s Basketball coaches. Unfortunately for VanDerveer, three of the four coaches ahead of her are still coaching and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  1. Pat Summitt (Tennessee)* – 1,092
  2. Jody Conradt (Texas) – 900
  3. C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers) *- 883
  4. Sylvia Hatchell (North Carolina)* – 878
  5. Tara VanDerveer (Stanford)* – 852
* — Active. Wins through February 26th, 2012.