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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Tara VanDerveer

     (Born June 26, 1953) -- Buffalo Seminary isn't exactly known as a basketball factory. Yet one of its graduates is one of the greatest coaches in women's basketball history.

     Tara VanDerveer was born in Boston but her family moved to Niagara Falls when she was young. In her book, she wrote fondly about her summers on Chautauqua Lake. VanDerveer was a 1971 graduate of Buffalo Seminary.

     From there it was on to Indiana University, where she was a guard. Three years after graduation, VanDerveer was a head coach at Idaho. She moved on to Ohio State, where she made three NCAA tournaments in five years.

     In 1985, though, VanDerveer truly found a home when she became the head coach at Stanford. She won two national championships in her first seven years, and took a year off in 1995-96 to lead the American team to the gold medal in Atlanta in the summer of 1996. The success has continued since then; the Cardinal has made the last five Final Fours.

     VanDerveer is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, and Ñ naturally Ñ Buffalo Seminary's Athletic Hall of Fame.
--- Budd Bailey

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