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Stanford's VanDerveer sets NCAA women's basketball wins record

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Stanford's Tara VanDerveer
USATSI

Tara VanDerveer passed Pat Summitt to summit Division I women's college basketball.

The Stanford coach won her 1,099th game Tuesday, surpassing the iconic Tennessee coach (1,098) for the most wins at the highest level of the collegiate women's game. Only Duke men's coach Mike Krzyzewski has more wins (1,159) in all of NCAA Division I. 

The No. 1-ranked Cardinal's 104-61 victory over the Pacific Tigers clinched history for VanDerveer.

Warriors star Steph Curry was among the basketball luminaries who congratulated VanDerveer for the record-setting accomplishment.

VanDerveer, 67, has coached Stanford for all but one season since 1985. She coached the gold medal-winning United States women's Olympic basketball team in 1996, and handed the reins of the 1995-96 Cardinal to then-assistants Amy Tucker and Marianne Stanley.

Stanford has become a powerhouse under VanDerveer. The Cardinal have won 22 regular-season conference titles, made 12 Final Fours and won two national championships. With VanDerveer at the helm, Stanford has only once won fewer than 20 games in a season and not missed the NCAA Tournament -- in years it was held -- since 1987, and 30 Stanford players have played in the WNBA.

VanDerveer, who previously coached at Idaho and Ohio State, earned induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Her rivalry with Summitt, who died in 2016, was a friendly one defined by mutual respect.

“We would talk, and I think that one of the things, I like the idea of competing against great coaches to get better,” VanDerveer told the Associated Press earlier this week. “If I tied this record with her, she helped me do it, because of playing against her teams. From the beginning, we only played Tennessee because Jennifer Azzi came to Stanford and we promised Jennifer we would play there like one year -- not 25 years.”