2018 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day: Tara VanDerveer, legendary head coach and water skier
SAN FRANCISCO – Perhaps one of the most eyebrow-raising things we learned at 2018 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day wasn’t that Oregon was picked to win the Pac-12 by the coaches. Nor was it about which players made the biggest strides in the offseason, or what team bonding activity brought teams closer together.
No, it was that Tara VanDerveer, the legendary head coach at Stanford, is an avid water skier.
You did not misread that last sentence – the veteran of 33 years as Stanford head honcho and 1,000-game winner gets down on some water skiing.
“You know I’m a nut,” VanDerveer said. “[Former Arizona head coach and current Pac-12 Networks analyst Joan Bonvicini] talked me into getting my own boat. She had her own boat. So I just went off the deep end and got two boats… I just love doing it. You just get out, and it’s exercise, and it doesn’t feel like exercise. It’s fun.”
HOF @StanfordWBB coach Tara VanDerveer was kind enough to share and let me post video of her waterskiing - “one ski?” I asked. “Of course,” she said. - this summer on Minnesota’s Lake Fourteen. “It keeps me fresh,” she said @pac12 media day. pic.twitter.com/xWn3X0SCO4
— Janie McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) October 10, 2018
This isn’t something new, either. VanDerveer said she grew up water skiing and snow skiing, but obviously, the whole being a basketball coach thing makes it tough to ski in the winter.
She has more time in the summer, however, and noted that she water skied almost every day in August this year. With the grind that is the nearly year-round basketball season, water skiing allows her to take a step back from the hectic hoops world and give her a better work-life balance, something she preaches to her team.
“I think that just keeps tread on my tire, to be excited to go in the gym and work with these incredible athletes and student-athletes. But I want to be fresh. I want to be excited,” VanDerveer said. “My kind of mantra to everyone on our team is do whatever it takes to come back and be excited when we start in October and help yourself be the best player you can be.”