Stanford women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer overtook former Duke men’s basketball coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski on the all-time wins list Sunday night, as VanDerveer’s 1,203 wins make her the all-time winningest coach in the college game.
As we noted back in August, after the PAC-12 athletic conference collapsed and Stanford and Cal signed up to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, the move may end up being most significant in the once-obscure but now increasingly popular sport of women’s basketball. After all, the Stanford women's basketball program has been a powerhouse program since the early 1980s, while over in the ACC, the Notre Dame women’s team is historically similarly elite, setting up what may be one of the new great rivalries of the game.
Since 1990, the Stanford women’s team has won three national titles, and made it to the March Madness tournament’s Sweet 16 twenty-three times. The Stanford Cardinal women’s team has now made the March Madness tournament an astonishing 34 years in a row, the only exception being the COVID year of 2020, when there was no tournament. And their coach for that while time has been Tara VanDerveer, who with Sunday night’s win, became the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history, as ESPN reports.
VanDerveer now has 1,203 career wins, passing former Duke men’s basketball coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski on the all-time list.
GOAT: Tara VanDerveer is now college basketball’s all-time win leader. Second to none. pic.twitter.com/EK4mm21jjJ— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) January 21, 2024
Sunday night’s game was a fairly routine 65-56 win over Oregon State at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion, though one capped off with a star player Cameron Brink dousing Vanderveer with a Gatorade jug full of confetti. The pavilion then showed a celebrity-studded video address from Coach K, Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Billie Jean King, and others, seen below.
“I want to bring attention to the beauty of women’s basketball,” Vanderveer said after the game. "I'm so jealous because I never got to do what they get to do. but I'm able to watch a little girl's dream play out through them."
"I never got to do it,” she added. “But I get to watch it. I’ve got the best seat in the house and I love it.”
"I'm so jealous because I never got to do what they get to do... but I'm able to watch a little girls dream play out through them."— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) January 22, 2024
1,203 wins for Coach Tara VanDerveer, with "the best seat in the house." pic.twitter.com/gaNFF5VnIz
The 70-year-old VanDerveer first coached Idaho from 1978-1980, Ohio State from 1980-1985, and was hired by Stanford in 1985. While she’s the all-time wins champion now, it should be noted that UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma is only seven wins behind her, so the two may trade the all-time wins title for years to come.
Image: PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 21: Head coach Tara VanDerveer of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates with her player Cameron Brink #22 after Stanford defeated the Oregon State Beavers 65-56 at Stanford Maples Pavilion on January 21, 2024 in Palo Alto, California. Tara VanDerveer recorded her 1,203 NCAA career victory passing Mike Krzyzewski with 1,202 NCAA career wins. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)