Longtime Stanford top assistant coach Amy Tucker retiringStanford assistant coach Amy Tucker looks on during practice for a regional semifinal game in the women's NCAA college basketball tournament Friday, March 29, 2013, in Spokane, Wash. Stanford plays Georgia on Saturday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Longtime Stanford associate head coach Amy Tucker is retiring from coaching but will remain with the program in an administrative role.
Tucker shared the news Wednesday night that she is calling it a career to her time on the bench. But she will still have a key role behind the scenes.
''It has been a great journey and I have loved it,'' said Tucker, who just completed her 32nd season on The Farm under Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer and Stanford reached the Final Four before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion South Carolina.
Known for her impressive work on the recruiting trail and talents evaluating players, Tucker and co-interim head coach Marianne Stanley guided the Cardinal during VanDerveer's season away leading the 1996 gold medal-winning U.S. team in the lead up to the Atlanta Olympics. Stanford went 29-3 and reached its fifth Final Four during the 1990s.
''Our program will really miss Amy's incredible skills,'' VanDerveer said. ''Glad she will be staying on to help our program in administration.''
Tucker played for VanDerveer at Ohio State and played a key part in the program's turnaround into a Big Ten power, then began her coaching career on the Buckeyes' bench.
''She always was fun, funny, witty, she's always well-dressed, she's sharp, she's smart,'' said former Stanford guard Ros Gold-Onwude, now a sideline reporter for the Golden State Warriors among many other TV jobs. ''Amy is a huge part of the brains behind Stanford's success. She was often the coach I could trust for better explanation or even just my feelings. I feel it is the end of a golden era for Stanford without Amy Tucker. She is brilliant.''
Kate Paye, VanDerveer's second associate head coach after being promoted to that position before last season, is staying put after being considered for other openings at Washington and USC. She is believed to be someone who could be considered as VanDerveer's successor one day.
''I love Stanford and am excited to be here for the foreseeable future,'' Paye wrote in a recent email.
Tucker might do some travel in her new job, a decision she made and a new challenge.
''Our staff is great,'' she said.