College basketball: Stanford women beat USC to give Coach Tara VanDerveer her 1,000th win

Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer watches her team warm up for the game against USC on Friday night in Palo Alto.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Tara VanDerveer became just the second NCAA women’s coach to reach 1,000 career victories Friday night, when No. 8 Stanford beat USC 58-42 to give the Hall of Famer a major milestone to share with the home crowd at Maples Pavilion.

VanDerveer joined the late Pat Summitt, a dear friend who died last summer from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease with 1,098 wins to her name, as the only other women’s coach in the elite club. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is the only Division I men’s coach with 1,000.

After the game ended, confetti sprayed and players moved to midcourt to hold up cutout numbers to form 1,000. The team presented her with a framed jersey with the number 1,000 on it.


“Our team won’t believe this but I am really speechless,” an emotional VanDerveer said, greeted by chants of “Tara! Tara!”

In her 38th season as a head coach and 31st on The Farm after previous stops at Idaho and Ohio State, VanDerveer had former stars like Jennifer Azzi, one of her first marquee recruits, among the 4,490 fans in attendance and perhaps the biggest of all in 89-year-old mother, Rita.

VanDerveer almost didn’t accept the Stanford job all those years ago, unsure she could turn the Cardinal program into a perennial powerhouse. Instead, she has groomed so many future WNBA stars while doing so with class and humility. She has adapted by changing offenses multiple times to best fit her roster.

More than anything, she loves her players — and you bet she still loves winning and all the work and preparation it takes to do so.

Karlie Samuelson made three second-half three-pointers on the way to 21 points while Erica McCall added 18 points in Stanford’s seventh straight victory, an unbeaten run that included last Sunday’s win at Washington. Brittany McPhee contributed 10 points for the Cardinal (20-3, 10-1 Pac-12).

Kristen Simon led cold-shooting USC (12-10, 3-8) with 11 points.

With a pair of NCAA titles in 1990 and `92, an Olympic gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games and 11 Final Four berths — including five straight from 2008-2012 — VanDerveer has meant so much to women’s basketball on the court and far beyond it as a positive influence and mentor to so many.


The 63-year-old VanDerveer did this one in front of the home fans at Maples Pavilion, after winning No. 800 against Azzi at the University of San Francisco in December 2010 and her 900th in November 2013 at a Thanksgiving tournament in Mexico. Former Stanford star Ros Gold-Onwude, the Golden State Warriors’ sideline reporter, called Friday’s game for TV.

“On behalf of the Pac-12, I would like to congratulate Coach VanDerveer on the amazing and rare accomplishment of 1,000 wins,” Commissioner Larry Scott said. “In a career full of astounding successes, this feat is a true testament to her steadfast commitment to excellence at Stanford and her lasting legacy on the entire sport of basketball.”

And, she certainly plans for many more wins — in fact, some of her former players believe she could take a crack at 2,000.

“She very well could,” Athletic Director Bernard Muir said Friday, “it wouldn’t shock me.”

at California 80, No. 13 UCLA 77: Jordin Canada, who scored 26 points, missed a three-point try at the buzzer as the Bears (16-7, 4-7 Pac-12) held on against the Bruins (17-5, 8-3). Kristine Anigwe, Mi’Cole Cayton and Mikayla Cowling had 18 points as all five Bears starters scored in double figures.

Saturday’s schedule



Pacific at Pepperdine, 5 p.m.

Loyola Marymount at San Francisco, 7 p.m.

UC Davis at UC Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.

UC Riverside at Cal Poly, 7 p.m.

Hawaii at Cal State Northridge, 7:30 p.m.

UC Irvine at Long Beach State, 8 p.m.