ATLANTA — Tara VanDerveer, head coach at Stanford University, is the 2011 WBCA NCAA Division I Coach of the Year, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced. This is the 29th year of this honor, which has been selected by the WBCA since 1983.
“The WBCA is pleased to present Tara VanDerveer with the RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA National Division I Coach of the Year award,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “Coaches receive a lot of awards, but I can only imagine that to be chosen for an award by your peers has got to be the highest compliment.”
VanDerveer, in her 25th season at the Stanford helm, has guided the Cardinal to a 32-2 overall record, the program’s 20th Pac-10 regular season title (and 11th consecutive) and eighth Pac-10 Tournament crown, and a 24th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. The Cardinal’s berth in tonight’s Spokane Regional Final is the program’s 15th appearance in an NCAA tournament regional final.
VanDerveer, who earlier this month was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the the 11th time, is regarded in the profession as one of the most well-respected and dynamic coaches in the country. She has a career record of 825-197 in her 32 years as a head coach, which makes her only the fifth Division I women’s basketball coach to reach the 800-win mark. She has compiled a 673-146 record in her 25 years at Stanford and has coached the Cardinal to eight NCAA Women’s Final Four appearances, two national runner-up finishes (in 2008 and 2010) and two national championships (in 1990 and 1992).
Prior to her arrival at Stanford, VanDerveer led Ohio State to national prominence from 1980-85, as the Buckeyes went 110-37 (.748) overall and 55-5 (.917) in the Big Ten during her tenure. Before Ohio State, VanDerveer served as head coach at the University of Idaho. In two seasons in Moscow (1978-79, 1979-80), she brought unprecedented success to Vandal women’s basketball. The Vandals went 42-14 in her two seasons and advanced to the AIAW Tournament (predecessor to the NCAA tournament) in 1980.
VanDerveer’s enormous contributions to the sport were recognized in April 2002, as she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.
VanDerveer is a 1975 graduate of Indiana University, where she was a Dean’s List scholar for three years and a sociology major. While at Indiana, VanDerveer held one of the starting guard positions for three years on the women’s basketball team.
An avid piano player in her spare time, VanDerveer was born June 26, 1953. A Boston native who grew up in upstate New York, she is also a published author. Her book Shooting From The Outside, which chronicled her 1996 Olympic and National Team experience, was released in September 1997.
The national coach of the year is selected from a list of finalists composed of the eight regional coaches of the year, who are chosen by vote of their peers in their respective WBCA membership regions.
VanDerveer, as well as the five other WBCA National Coach of the Year recipients, will be formally recognized during the WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 4, in the Indiana Convention Center’s Sagamore Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis.