Heidi VanDerveer, who has more than two decades of experience on both the collegiate and professional levels, has been named head women’s basketball coach at Occidental College, Athletic Director Jaime Hoffman announced Monday.
Heidi's experience in playing and coaching at the highest levels of the game while insisting on academic performance make her the perfect leader for our program," said Hoffman, who was named athletic director while leading the Tigers to their first conference championship since 1980 and a record 20 season wins. "I’m proud of what the team accomplished this year, but I look forward to even greater success under Heidi's leadership."
"I am very excited to be named head coach at Occidental," said VanDerveer, currently associate head coach at San Diego State. "Occidental is a tremendous academic institution, whose balance between high educational expectations and competitive athletics mirrors my core values. I look forward to working together with highly motivated student-athletes to build on the program’s success and establish a new standard for the future."
At San Diego State, VanDerveer – sister of Stanford women’s head coach Tara VanDerveer – helped coach the sixth-seeded Aztecs to the final of the Mountain West Conference Tournament, where they fell just short of an upset of New Mexico, 62-59. This summer she will serve as a scout for the U.S. women’s Olympic basketball team in Beijing.
She began her coaching career as a graduate assistant for Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee, when the Lady Volunteers won the 1987 national championship and advanced to the 1988 Final Four. She then spent six seasons as an assistant at the University of South Carolina, helping to coach the Gamecocks to three NCAA tournament appearances.
In 1994, she was hired as the head coach at Eastern Washington, where she led the Eagles to 12 victories in her first year and back-to-back Big Sky tournament appearances, including the school's first in five years.
VanDerveer's first stint in the WNBA came as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Monarchs in 1997, before being promoted to head coach in 1997-98. She spent four years with the Minnesota Lynx as both an assistant (1999-2002) and head coach (2002). After serving two years as a WNBA scout from 2003-05, while also working one year at the University of San Francisco as an assistant and later head coach, VanDerveer was hired as a WNBA assistant for the Seattle Storm. The Storm advanced to the WNBA playoffs in each of her two seasons in Seattle.
In addition to her college and professional experience, VanDerveer has worked with USA Basketball as a scout for the 2006 World Championship team and as a court manager for World Championship, World University, Goodwill Games and select squads.
A native of Chautauqua, N.Y., VanDerveer was a four-year letter-winner in basketball at the College of Charleston from 1982-86, serving as team captain as senior and graduating in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in political science/English. She also has a master's degree in physical education/sports psychology from the University of Tennessee.