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VanDerveer Ties Victory Record With Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Last weekend, Tara VanDerveer made history. The Stanford head coach tied the record for the most wins in Division I women's basketball.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Stanford going to be four and 0 now on the season, the top team in the country. And Tara VanDerveer will have 1,098 head coaching wins.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

She's tied now with longtime Tennessee coach Pat Summitt. There's a lot to celebrate, but hitting this milestone during the pandemic, well, VanDerveer says it all feels strange.

TARA VANDERVEER: And it was very different - you know, no crowd, no excitement, really. You have to bring your own energy. You know, you can't even hug your players.

INSKEEP: VanDerveer arrived at Stanford in 1985. She has coached the team ever since, except for a year when she stepped away to lead the U.S. women's basketball team to a gold medal at the Olympics.

MARTIN: She'll step back on the court tonight with a chance of making even more history. If the Stanford Cardinals beat the Pacific Tigers, she'll hold the record outright. Announcers Mary Murphy and Kate Scott say breaking records doesn't seem to concern the coach.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KATE SCOTT: I used to talk to her sometimes after a game and say, are you gonna go home and celebrate? Are you going to go out? I mean, I would have been, like, buying a bottle of Veuve Clicquot or something. Like, let's go, man. This is awesome. And she's like, no, I'm going to go home and watch some tape. You know, we do have a game on - just going, Tara...

MARY MURPHY: Stop it. Well, she did...

INSKEEP: In other words, she's just focused on winning the next game.

VANDERVEER: I will tell you this. I have never been about ever trying to set a record. Once the game gets going, you're thinking about the game. You're not thinking about anything else.

INSKEEP: Stanford women's basketball coach Tara VanDerveer is one win away from setting the new record for the most wins in Division I women's basketball.

(SOUNDBITE OF SARAH AND THE ILLSTRUMENTALIST'S "TAKE OUT") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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