Stanford's VanDerveer gets new deal
STANFORD, Calif. (AP)
Hall of Fame Stanford women's basketball coach Tara VanDerveer has received a new long-term contract.
The coach said Wednesday she signed a new deal without offering specifics, and the school is not announcing the number of additional years on the contract - only saying it is a long-term pact. VanDerveer had two years remaining on her previous contract, through the 2014-15 season. The Cardinal missed reaching a sixth straight Final Four in VanDerveer's 27th season at Stanford and 34th overall as a Division I head coach. They lost in the NCAA tournament's Spokane Regional semifinals, 61-59 to Georgia, to finish the season 33-3.
VanDerveer, who turned 60 last month, is 742-152 at Stanford and 894-203 overall. She is six wins shy of becoming the fifth women's basketball coach with 900 victories.
Athletic director Bernard Muir indicated after the season that he looked forward to the program continuing to perform at such a high level with VanDerveer leading the way - likely for as long as she wants to stick around.
''Simply put, Tara VanDerveer is one of the great educators in the game of basketball,'' Muir said. ''Beyond the game, Tara means so much to Stanford and we take great pleasure in knowing that she will positively impact our student-athletes for years to come.''
Stanford's team leaves in late August for a tour of Italy.
''We are so much improved, I am excited!'' VanDerveer wrote in a message. ''All good on The Farm!''
VanDerveer remained positive as her inexperienced team struggled early last season after losing WNBA No. 1 overall draft pick Nnemkadi Ogwumike following a fifth straight Final Four trip. Stanford stunned then-No. 1 Baylor and Brittney Griner on Nov. 16 in Honolulu.
The Cardinal had their nation-best 82-game winning streak at home snapped in a lopsided 61-35 rout by Connecticut on Dec. 29, then they lost another in front of the spirited Maples Pavilion crowd to rival California to end an 81-game unbeaten run against conference opponents. Cal went on to earn the program's first Final Four berth.
VanDerveer is always eager to see the West Coast shine on the national stage, and will look for big things from Chiney Ogwumike in her upcoming senior season.
Stanford has reached 25 straight NCAA tournaments, has six consecutive 30-win seasons and is the 11-time reigning conference champion - having won both the regular-season and conference tournament titles the past seven years.
''I have been extremely fortunate to work with an incredible staff as well as the brightest and most motivated student-athletes here at Stanford for nearly 30 years, and I look forward to the privilege of many more,'' VanDerveer said. ''It is to them and to athletic director Bernard Muir that I say thank you for the opportunity to continue leading the Stanford women's basketball program into its bright future.''