Kate Paye takes on Tara VanDerveer’s legacy

On Tuesday afternoon, one week after longtime coach Tara VanDerveer announced her retirement, athletic director Bernard Muir named Kate Paye as the new women’s basketball head coach. With the Cardinal’s winning history, Paye steps into a position that carries significant expectations and a storied legacy.

Paye brings with her a wealth of experience, having spent 17 years as part of VanDerveer’s coaching staff. Her aim is to build upon Stanford’s tradition of excellence, having tasted victory both as a player and as an associate head coach. Notably, Paye was part of the 1992 national championship-winning team during her time as a player at Stanford. She clinched another championship title in 2021, as an associate head coach.

Following her collegiate career, Paye briefly transitioned into coaching at San Diego State University before pursuing a professional playing career. She spent three seasons with the Seattle Reign in the American Basketball League (ABL) before making her mark in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) with the Seattle Storm and the Minnesota Lynx from 2000 to 2002.

Returning to Stanford in 2007, Paye rejoined the coaching staff and has since distinguished herself as a highly accomplished assistant coach. She holds the distinction of being the only coach to receive the Division I Assistant Coach of the Year award multiple times, claiming the honor first in 2022 and again this past season.

Paye’s Stanford roots run deeper than her tenure as a student and coach. Paye was born at Stanford hospital, and her entire immediate family attended Stanford. Her dad and brother were each lettermen for the football team. Paye’s deep-rooted ties to the University, combined with her extensive experience and proven track record, position her as a fitting successor to uphold the program’s legacy of success.