Stanford women’s basketball administrator and former coach Amy Tucker is one of 12 finalists under consideration for induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. The group was announced at halftime during Thursday night’s Louisville at Notre Dame game on ESPN and the Class of 2019 will be unveiled on ESPN2 during the Baylor at Texas game on Feb. 4.
Tucker, who led the Cardinal to the NCAA Final Four as interim head coach in 1995-96, is in her 34th season at Stanford and second as a program administrator after stepping away from the bench following the program’s most recent Final Four run in 2016-17.
Tucker had an illustrious career as a Cardinal coach for 32 seasons. An excellent strategist, she arrived on The Farm with Tara VanDerveer in 1985-86 and helped guide the Cardinal to an 889-183 (.829) overall record. She was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 1996-97 season.
When VanDerveer was tabbed to lead the USA Basketball National Team during the 1995-96 campaign and for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Tucker was named interim head coach. Stanford’s 29-3 season, which included the program’s fifth NCAA Final Four appearance of the 1990’s, earned Tucker UPI (United Press International) National Coach of the Year and Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors.
During Tucker’s coaching career, Stanford won a pair of NCAA titles, reached 13 Final Fours, 19 Elite Eights and 24 Sweet Sixteens. At the conference level, the Cardinal claimed 23 Pac-12 regular-season championships, won 12 Pac-12 Tournament titles and posted a league record of 486-72 (.871).
One of the nation’s top recruiters and known as an excellent evaluator of talent, Tucker was responsible for assembling a multitude top-five recruiting classes during her tenure.
Among the notable recruits she helped bring to The Farm were Wade Trophy Players of the Year Jennifer Azzi (1990) and Candice Wiggins (2008), two Naismith National Players of the Year in Azzi (1990) and Kate Starbird (1997), 2014 John R. Wooden Award recipient Chiney Ogwumike, as well as three-time All-Americans Nicole Powell (2002-04) and Nnemkadi Ogwumike (2010-12).
Under Tucker’s tutelage, five Stanford front-line players (Jayne Appel, C. Ogwumike, N. Ogwumike, Val Whiting, Nicole Powell) earned multiple WBCA All-America selections and all were named Pac-12 Player of the Year. Seven of her frontcourt recruits went on to be selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft and a total of 14 have played in the WNBA.
Beginning with the inaugural season of Pac-12 women’s basketball in 1986-87, Tucker helped guide Stanford players to 30 first team All-America honors (WBCA and Associated Press), 18 Pac-12 Player of the Year awards, eight Pac-12 Freshman of the Year nods, 70 first team All-Pac-12 selections and 127 Pac-12 All-Academic picks.
Tucker began coaching soon after completing a successful four-year playing career (1979-82) at Ohio State. She joined VanDerveer on Ohio State’s bench as a graduate assistant in 1983-84 and a year later was promoted to assistant coach.
In the two years on the Buckeye staff, she helped OSU to a 50-10 (.833) mark and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the Elite Eight in 1985.
As a player, Tucker led the Buckeyes to a 72-51 record and twice paced the team in scoring, finishing her career second on Ohio State’s all-time scoring list with 1,629 points.
Through the end of the 2017-18 campaign, Tucker’s career scoring output continues to hold a place in Ohio State lore, ranking 13th in Buckeye women’s basketball history.
She also finished her career atop the school’s all-time list for games played with 123, a mark that stood for 14 years.
As a senior in 1981-82, Tucker was named Ohio State’s captain and led the squad to the Big Ten Tournament title and an appearance in the inaugural edition of the NCAA Tournament.
In May 2012 Tucker was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. Tucker was previously recognized for her achievements by being inducted into the Ohio State Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Tucker graduated with her bachelor’s degree in social work from Ohio State in 1982. In 1984, she earned a master’s degree from Ohio State in sports management and administration.