Stanford women's basketball coach Tara VanDerveer has been named the 2011 Russell Athletic/WBCA NCAA Division I Head Coach of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced Monday.
This is the first time that VanDerveer has been honored with the WBCA's top coaching honor. In addition to earning the national award, she has also collected the WBCA Region 8 Coach of the Year award for the fourth time in the past five years (2007, 2009-11).
"It is very humbling to be recognized by the WBCA and by my peers with this honor," VanDerveer said in Spokane, Wash., where she's preparing her team for Monday night's Elite Eight showdown with Gonzaga. "I am very fortunate to get to work with such a smart, hard-working and dedicated team of coaches and players. The dedication that they bring every day both on and off the court is the reason for this program's success."
The award also marks the fourth time in her career that VanDerveer has been named national coach of the year. She was named Women's Basketball News Service Coach of the Year in 1988, Converse Coach of the Year in 1989 and James Naismith Coach of the Year after leading the Cardinal to its first national title in 1990.
She has led Stanford to a pair of national titles in her career, reaching the peak in 1990 and 1992, and hoping to win a third next weekend in Indianapolis -- site of the NCAA Final Four.
This season, VanDerveer became just the fifth Division I head coach to win 800 games after Stanford's 100-45 victory over San Francisco. Over her 32-year head coaching career, which previously included stops at Idaho and Ohio State, VanDerveer has accumulated a career record of 825-197. Currently, she also has a record of 673-146 in her 25th season at Stanford.
In February, she was named one of 12 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The announcement of the members of the Hall's Class of 2011 will be made in Houston on Monday, April 4.
VanDerveer has guided Stanford to its fourth straight 30-win season in 2010-11, as the Cardinal is 32-2 heading into Monday night's Spokane Regional Final against 11th-seeded Gonzaga. The Cardinal, which earned the top seed in the Spokane Region, is gunning for its fourth straight Final Four appearance, and 10th overall, as it makes its 24th straight NCAA Tournament appearance.