Tara VanDerveer Named Pac-10 Coach Of The Year

March 6, 2003

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    WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -

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    Stanford University's Tara VanDerveer has been named the 2002-03 Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year, commissioner Tom Hansen announced today. The award is voted on by the conference's head coaches.

    In addition, Stanford junior forward Nicole Powell (Phoenix, AZ) and sophomore guard Kelley Suminski (Chester, NJ) were named First-Team All-Pac-10. The award is the third for Powell and first for Suminski.

    The Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor is the sixth of VanDerveer's honor, and second in a row. VanDerveer, who also received the honor in 1989, '90, '95, '97 and 2002, is the only coach to have won the award more than twice.

    VanDerveer, who is in her 17th season at Stanford, won her 11th Pac-10 Championship this season as the Cardinal finished the regular season 23-4 overall and 15-3 in conference play. VanDerveer, who is 419-109 overall and 242-46 in the Pac-10 during her Stanford tenure, is also a finalist for 2002-03 Naismith National Coach of the Year honors.

    'I'm very excited about what we have accomplished this season,' VanDerveer said of a squad that starts one junior and four sophomores. 'It is a nice feeling to be recognized by your peers.'

    Powell becomes just the 19th player in conference history, and fifth player in Stanford history, to become a three-time All-Pac-10 selection. The only other Stanford players to earn the honor are Jennifer Azzi (1988-90), Katy Steding (1988-90), Sonja Henning (1988-90) and Kate Starbird (1995-97).

    Powell, who is a finalist for the two most prestigious National Player of the Year honors (Wade Trophy and Naismith Award), is averaging 19.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals despite missing the first nine games of the season with a back injury. Powell, who has 28 career double-doubles and six career triple-doubles, ranks first in the conference in free throw percentage (87.2), first in defensive rebounding (7.11 pg), second in scoring, third in total rebounding, sixth in assists, seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.22) and 10th in 3-point percentage (36.2). The 2001-02 Kodak All-American, who has a chance to become just the fourth four-time All-Pac-10 selection in conference history, already ranks sixth in Stanford history in rebounds (752), eighth in assists (428) and 15th in points (1,340).

    Suminski, who was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team a year ago, is averaging 11.7 points, 3.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds. She ranks third in the conference in free throw percentage (83.5), sixth in 3-point percentage (37.4), eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.07), eighth in 3-pointers per game (1.59) and 14th in scoring. She was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 30, and was named co-MVP of the Stanford Invitational after Stanford defeated then-No. 2 Kansas State on Nov. 30.

    Stanford now has 35 All-Pac-10 selections dating back to the conference's inception in 1987, and is the only program with more than 25.

    Stanford is the top seed in this weekend's Pac-10 Tournament, and will begin play on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. at HP Pavilion in San Jose. The Cardinal will face the winner of Friday night's first round match-up between eighth-seeded Arizona State and ninth-seeded California.

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