STANFORD, Calif. — Inspired by Stanford's Hall of Fame women's basketball coach, the Women's Sports Foundation has created the Tara VanDerveer Fund for the Advancement of Women in Coaching.
The fund will honor her extraordinary legacy by providing fellowships for aspiring female coaches in all collegiate sports, creating opportunities for them to excel and become leaders. In partnership with universities and colleges, these fellowships will provide aspiring coaches in all collegiate sports with the support needed to jumpstart their careers. The fellowships emphasize hands-on training and mentorship with established collegiate coaches in order to strengthen professional development, provide networking guidance and identify paths to advancement.
"I'm humbled that the Women's Sports Foundation has created this fund in my name to address this important issue," VanDerveer said. "I've seen a lot of positives over my career in advancing opportunities for women in sport, but the decline in female coaches is troubling. This program is just one way we can help reverse that trend and I'm anxious to see the impact it can have on empowering tomorrow's leaders."
The fund will support these women by providing each VanDerveer Fellow with a stipend, mentoring, networking and professional development. Ultimately the mission of the VanDerveer Fund is to support talented aspiring coaches as they gain the experience necessary to remain in the coaching field.
The VanDerveer Fellowship program is transformative, innovative, game-changing and vitally needed. In the 1970-71 academic year, 90 percent of all head coaches for women's college teams were women. By 2017, 45 years after the passage of Title IX, women's share of these positions in women's NCAA sports had dropped to 40 percent.
Colleges and universities with collegiate athletic programs may apply for the opportunity to host a fellow at their school. If awarded a grant, schools will hire the fellow through their own internal hiring process. Applications will be available in early 2019. Institutions chosen to host a fellow will be announced in May 2019. The fellowship position will run concurrent to the 2019-20 academic year.
Donors interested in contributing to the WSF's Tara VanDerveer Fund for the Advancement of Women in Coaching can do so on the organization's website at womenssportsfoundation.org or by contacting the group's Senior Director of Development Camille Mantelin.
Those with questions about the grant process or interested in applying to host a WSF Tara VanDerveer Fellow in the 2019-20 academic year can contact Advocacy Assistant Olivia Wynn.
Additional information can be found at womenssportsfoundation.org.