Stanford’s Women’s Basketball Coach Started at IU

Posted: April 9, 2013 by kelseyray in IU Women's Sports

I can’t decide which I’m more impressed about… The fact that Tara VanDerveer was a three year Dean’s List Scholar at IU or the fact that she has won over 800 games in coaching NCAA Women’s Basketball.

VanDerveer has been the Stanford University Women’s Coach since 1985, leading the Stanford Cardinals to two NCAA Women’s Division 1 Basketball Championships in 1990 and 1992.


In 1996, VanDerveer stepped away for a year to serve as the U.S. National team head coach at the Olympics.  She is a ten time Pac-12 Coach of the year.

During her time at IU, VanDerveer was a three-year letter winner on the women’s basketball team in 1974, 1974 and 1975.  She played starting guard, and this earned her invitations to tryout camps for the World Games in 1972 and the Olympic Team in 1974.


VanDerveer was always determined to play ball in college.  As one of five children, it wasn’t financially possible for her to go without a scholarship.  She started out at Albany College, where she felt the challenges weren’t great enough athletically.  She talked a few of her friends into attending the AIAW National Championships, where she took notes and decided that Indiana was right for her.

At the time, none other than Bobby Knight was coaching men’s basketball.  The women’s coach, Bea Gorton, patterned her style after Knight.  VanDerveer started attending Knight’s practices to catch a glimpse of what she would be doing later in the day during her practices.  It can be noted that VanDerveer carried what she learned from Knight to her coaching at Standford.

She’s coached everywhere from Idaho to Ohio State to Stanford to the Olympics Team. Let’s not forget- VanDerveer started right here at Indiana, where the opportunity allowed her to “dunk” into success.



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