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About the Tara VanDerveer Fund

Inspired by legendary Stanford University women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer, this Fund will honor her extraordinary legacy by providing fellowships for aspiring female coaches in all collegiate sports, from basketball and volleyball to water polo and fencing, providing opportunities for women coaches to excel and become leaders. In partnership with universities and colleges, these fellowships will provide aspiring coaches 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.

How to Apply

For application, guidelines and FAQ, please click here.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?
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.

Should a grant be awarded, each applicant is responsible for ensuring receipt of these funds is compliant with all applicable rules, regulations and laws applying to that institution.

Applications are now available. Institutions chosen to host a Fellow will be announced in May 2019. The Fellowship position will run concurrent to the 2019-20 academic year.

The Need

In the 1970-71 academic year, 90% 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%. While women’s representation as head and assistant coaches of women’s sports can vary by sport, this under-representation is systemic and cannot be attributed to just one sport or division. Furthermore, women of color are particularly under-represented in the coaching ranks, making up just 5.6% of head coaches of women’s sports, and only 3.5% of all head coaches (men’s and women’s teams) (NCAA, 2017). The lack of female coaches is evident at the elementary and high school level as well. As a coach is often one of the most important adults in a young person’s life outside of their family, the lack of female mentors in sports has far-reaching consequences for the development of both girls and boys.


Donors interested in contributing to WSF’s Tara VanDerveer Fund for the Advancement of Women in Coaching can do so here.


If you have questions about the grant process or are interested in applying to host a WSF Tara VanDerveer Fellow in the 2019-20 academic year, please contact Senior Director of Advocacy Sarah Axelson at

If you are interested in donating to the WSF’s Tara VanDerveer Fund for the Advancement of Women in Coaching, please contact Camille Mantelin, Senior Director of Development at

For a brochure about the program, please click here.