Tara VanDerveer

In the summer of 1996, Tara VanDerveer led the United States women’s basketball team to the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics. What followed that historic moment changed the game forever as the seeds for professional basketball for women began to take root. VanDerveer was on a yearlong sabbatical from her regular post as head coach at Stanford University where she had turned the Cardinal into the most dominant program on the West Coast since John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins. VanDerveer was already the owner of two national titles and seven conference championships when she took the reins of the national team and since that undefeated run to the gold medal she has solidified her reputation as one of the game’s top coaches. She is both teacher and student, respected for her knowledge of the game, her cool and collected sideline demeanor, and her ability to adapt to any situation. From 2001 to 2009, Stanford won nine consecutive Pac-10 championships and added two more Final Four appearances, further proof that VanDerveer’s greatness transcends time and space.