Aztecs Coach Faces Her Mentor

In the NCAA one-and-out tournament, competition is tough.

San Diego State women's basketball coach Beth Burns is up for the challenge, even if that means going up against her mentor, Stanford women's basketball coach Tara VanDerveer, according to the North County Times.

Monday at 6:30 p.m., the number two-ranked Stanford Cardinals will take on the number ten-ranked Lady Aztecs here in San Diego at Cox Arena for the second round of the NCAA tournament.

It all started when VanDerveer was the new coach at Ohio State for the 1980-81 season. Burns was a recent grad looking for a job as a graduate assistant. Burns didn't have an interview set up when she perched herself outside of VanDerveer's office, resume in hand and sales pitch ready.

"I just sat there and watched her walk by before I finally got the courage up to speak to her," said Burns. "After about three days, she asked me if I needed something. Years later she was quoted in a story about me saying she thought I was a potted plant. I didn't move for three days."

Well, potted plant no more. The Aztecs will try for a second upset, after defeating DePaul 76-70, on Saturday.

This matchup is actually the second time they've collided as head coaches. Back in December 1989, Stanford beat San Diego State 106-49.

Burns says she would not be sitting here today if not for VanDerveer.

"She's the one who gave me an opportunity and got me started in coaching," Burns said.

Read the full article on our media partner's website, The North County Times: "Aztecs Coach Faces Her Mentor with Season at Stake".

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