Tara VanDerveer made history, and then took a moment to tell her Stanford players what they mean to her. VanDerveer became the winningest women's college basketball coach Tuesday night, passing the late Pat Summitt with her 1,099th victory as No. 1 Stanford romped to a 104-61 victory over Pacific. Dressed casually in all black, VanDerveer received the game ball after the final buzzer. Her dancing players chanted "Tara! Tara!" and gave her a new oversized pullover reading "T-DAWG" to celebrate the latest milestone for the Hall of Fame coach in her 35th season on the "Farm" and 42nd overall as a college head coach. The 67-year-old VanDerveer improved her career record to 1,099-253, reports the AP.
The road to this historic night began with her first head coaching job at the University of Idaho from 1978 to 1980. She then moved to Ohio State (1980-'85) and Stanford, where she's 947-202. Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma is right behind, at 1,093 wins. "You never go into coaching, I never thought, 'Well, I'm going to try to win 1,000 games' or anything like that," VanDerveer said. "This is special, currently having the No. 1 team, being undefeated, playing in a pandemic, I will never forget this, for sure." VanDerveer plans to donate $10 for each of her wins—$10,990—to local food banks. "I really hope Pat Summitt is looking down and saying, 'Good job, Tara, keep it going,'" VanDerveer said. "I loved coaching against Pat, and we miss her." Tennessee women's basketball tweeted a photo of VanDerveer and Summitt and wrote, "1099. Pat would be proud. Congratulations, Coach VanDerveer!"
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