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Autumn Johnson | December 16, 2020

Tara VanDerveer passes Pat Summitt as the winningest women's college basketball coach

Tara VanDerveer speaks after historic victory, passing Pat Summitt as the winningest women's head coach

Winning is nothing new to Stanford’s head coach Tara VanDerveer — but Dec. 15 marks a special day in basketball history for the Hall of Fame coach.

VanDerveer became the winningest head coach in DI women’s college basketball history with 1,099 wins when No. 1 Stanford breezed through Pacific, 104-61, on Tuesday night at home. VanDerveer passes the late Pat Summit. The two legends have competed against each other 29 times with Summitt winning 22 of those matchups.

"This is special, because of the magnitude of that many wins," VanDerveer said. "You never go into coaching and think I'm going to try to win 1,000 games or anything like that. This is special having currently having the No. 1 team, being undefeated and playing in a pandemic. I will never forget this for sure." 

VanDerveer is now the second winningest coach across DI men's and women's basketball behind Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski (1,132 wins).

VanDerveer began this season only four wins away from the milestone. It was only a matter of time before she set the mark with the current No. 1 team in the country. It is also worthy to note that VanDerveer took a year off to coach the USA Basketball team in the 1996 Olympics.

VanDerveer has molded Stanford into a national championship contender over the past three decades. The two-time NCAA Champion and four-time NCAA Coach of the Year not only made an impact on the court, she impacted hundreds of young women off the court.

VanDerveer has coached hundreds of players who have became All-Americans, WNBA players and leaders in their industries and communities.

WOMEN'S HOOPS: Tara VanDerveer enters 2020-21 season 4 wins away from matching Pat Summitt

Now 5-0, No. 1 Stanford pulled away from Pacific in the third quarter. Six players scored in double figures.

"They really wanted to win for me," VanDerveer said. "I felt it the whole game. I felt it on the bus ride here."

Lexie Hull led the way with 17 points, and Fran Belibi had 15. Haley Jones, Kiana Willams and Anna Wilson all chipped in 14 points each. 

The Cardinal have a deep squad and strong team chemistry. They know how to create. Stanford dished out 25 assists against Pacific. Jones found crafty ways to give her teammates open looks, leading with six assists.

Stanford shot 50 percent from the floor and outrebounded Pacific, 52-30.

VanDerveer shared how this group is special team going through a unique time. 

"These are young people that are going through a pandemic, and being asked to do things that no other players have ever been asked to do," she said. "They're trying really hard to follow protocol and play basketball without their family and friends here. I have to give them a lot of credit. I am so proud of our team, and how they're rolling with everything." 

Quick look at Tara VanDerveer’s numbers in her career 

  • 1099 wins
  • 947 wins at Stanford
  • 2 National Champions 
  • 4 National Coach of the Year Awards
  • 13 Final Fours
  • 33 NCAA Tournament Appearances
  • 23 Pac-10/12 Championships 
  • 13 Pac-10/12 Titles 
  • 15 Pac-12 Coach of the Year Awards
  • 3 teams - Idaho, Ohio State and Stanford

UConn's head coach Geno Auriemma trails VanDerveer with 1,093 wins in women’s basketball history. Up next, No. 1 Stanford will take on South California on Dec. 19. 

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