Women's Basketball
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Van Chancellor
Position: Head Coach
Hometown: Louisville, Miss.
Alma Mater: Mississippi St.
Graduating Year: 1965
Experience: 4 Years
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Chancellor Videos
Van Chancellor Bio
Courtesy: LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
Release: 03/17/2011

Four Seasons at LSU, 23 Collegiate Seasons Overall 

A legend in women's basketball coaching circles, Van Chancellor served as head coach for the Lady Tigers for four seasons from 2007-11.

Chancellor was officially hired on April 11, 2007 by then-Athletic Director Skip Bertman. He stepped down as head coach of the program on March 17, 2011, accepting a position as special assistant to Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva.

"Van Chancellor is a legend in women's basketball coaching and LSU is forever privileged to have him as part of our program's history," said Alleva. "He came to LSU at a time when we needed him most and he served the University well for four seasons, leading the Lady Tigers to three NCAA Tournaments and the Final Four."

Chancellor, a veteran head coach of 30 years at both the collegiate and professional levels, brought an impeccable resume to LSU, one that included leading the United States to a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics Games, four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets and 14 NCAA Tournament appearances at Ole Miss.

In four seasons at LSU, Chancellor guided the Lady Tigers to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2008-10 and one NCAA Final Four. Chancellor compiled a 90-40 (.698) record with the Lady Tigers and he finished with a 529-194 (.732) in 23 overall seasons as a collegiate head coach.

LSU produced one SEC Player of the Year, one SEC Freshman of the Year and three State Farm All-America honors under his watch.  In the classroom, all 14 seniors during his tenure graduated with a degree from LSU. 

Chancellor enhanced his legacy in his first season in Baton Rouge, leading the Lady Tigers back to the Final Four for the fifth straight season and guiding the program to its third SEC regular season title in four seasons.

For his efforts, Chancellor was named 2008 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year by both the coaches and the media and was one of four finalists for the Naismith National Coach of the Year award.  He became the third coach of LSU to earn SEC Coach of the Year honors.

Chancellor led the Lady Tigers to a perfect 14-0 SEC record and the school's third outright regular season league title. During the team's 2007-08 run, he coached his 600th career game on Nov. 29 at Houston.

In his first season back at the collegiate level, Chancellor helped LSU become only the second school in the history of NCAA women's basketball to advance to five straight Final Fours. It was also the first Final Four appearance for him as a head coach.

One year later, Chancellor delivered what might have been his finest coaching performance. LSU lost all five starters and eight letterwinners from its 2008 Final Four team, yet the Lady Tigers still managed to finish in a second-place tie in the 2009 SEC final standings.

Chancellor and the Lady Tigers reeled off five straight wins to close the regular season and punctuated that with an 11th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament despite boasting one of the three youngest teams in America. LSU advanced to the second round and nearly knocked off eventual national championship game participant Louisville in the Maravich Center. 

The 2009-10 season was another 20-win campaign for Chancellor as the Lady Tigers once again reached the NCAA Tournament second round before falling to Duke on its home floor of Cameron Indoor Stadium. On Dec. 30, 2009, Chancellor notched another milestone by winning his 500th career game when the Lady Tigers knocked off 13th-ranked Xavier in Cincinnati. He became the 24th active Division I coach to reach 500 wins and the 39th Division I coach all-time to reach the 500 plateau.

"In the scope of things that doesn't seem important, the 500 wins," he said. "I am more proud of our team and what they did tonight. That is what is important. These players deserve the credit."

In Chancellor's final season, LSU posted a 19-13 overall record and an 8-8 mark in SEC play to finish in a tie for fifth in the final league standings. The season included a monumental upset of No. 8 UCLA in Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 28, snapping the Bruins' home court winning streak. The Lady Tigers just missed an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th straight season.

In addition to his 2007 induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, along with the likes of Roy Williams, Phil Jackson and Mendy Rudolph, Chancellor is also a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Success has followed Chancellor at every turn, as he posted a 38-0 mark in international competition as head coach of the United States Olympic Team.

Chancellor served for 10 years as head coach of the Houston Comets from 1997-2006. During that time, Chancellor was named the WNBA Coach of the Year three times (1997, 1998, 1999) and he led the franchise to the league's first four titles. Under Chancellor's direction, the Comets were the only team in the WNBA to make the playoffs in each of the first seven seasons of the league.

The 1998 Comets still hold the record for highest winning percentage in the history of NBA and WNBA basketball with a 27-3 mark (.900).

Chancellor's teams posted a 211-111 record in 10 seasons, which today still makes him the winningest coach in league history. Chancellor had the distinction of coaching the Western Conference All-Star Team three times during his career and he was also named the coach of the WNBA's All-Decade Team in June of 2006. He never lost an All-Star Game.

As head coach of the Comets, Chancellor produced the WNBA Most Valuable Player five times, the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year three times and the league's most improved player twice.

Before his jump to the professional ranks, Chancellor spent 19 seasons at Ole Miss, developing the Lady Rebels into one of the nation's premier women's basketball programs. As the Ole Miss head coach, Chancellor guided the Lady Rebels to the NCAA Tournament 14 times, which included 11 consecutive appearances from 1982 to 1992.

In 19 years at Ole Miss, Chancellor's teams won at least 20 games 15 times, including a school-record 31 wins in 1978-79. He also led the Lady Rebels to top 20 final rankings 13 times and top 10 finishes four times (No. 5 in 1992, No. 6 in 1985, No. 8 in 1987 and No. 10 in 1984).

Chancellor led Ole Miss to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament four times, while his teams made the Sweet 16 on three other occasions.

Chancellor was named the SEC Coach of the Year three times at Ole Miss, including the 1992 season when the Lady Rebels were 29-3 overall and claimed the league's regular season title with a perfect 11-0 mark. That year, the Lady Rebels reached the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight before falling to Southwest Missouri State.

Chancellor played two years of basketball at East Central Junior College in Decatur, Miss., before transferring to Mississippi State, where he earned a bachelor's degree in math and physical education in 1965.

He entered the coaching ranks during his senior year at Mississippi State, serving as head coach of the boy's basketball team at Noxapater High School. Chancellor went on to coach boy's and girl's basketball at Horn Lake High School and Harrison Central High School in Mississippi. Chancellor received his master's degree in physical education from Ole Miss in 1973.

Born September 27, 1943, in Louisville, Miss., Chancellor and his wife, Betty, have two children, John and Renee, and four grandsons, Nicholas, Jacob, Joseph and Zachary. John followed in his father's footsteps and is the current head women's basketball head coach at Barber's Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas, just east of Houston.

Since his arrival in Baton Rouge, Van Chancellor has been a constant in the community with his various speaking engagements and contributions. In the summer of 2008, Chancellor addressed the principals of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System about the values of education. The Hall of Famer also laid out plans of a partnership between the LSU women's basketball program and elementary and middle schools in the area to honor education.

A book published in the fall of 1999, "Nothin' But a Champion," chronicles Chancellor's life from his childhood roots in Mississippi through his third WNBA Championship with the Houston Comets. In addition to his coaching duties, Chancellor has spent time serving as a television analyst for women's college basketball, working for both ESPN and SEC-TV.

The Van Chancellor File

Birthdate: September 27, 1943
Hometown: Louisville, Miss.
Alma Mater: Mississippi State, 1965 
Wife: Betty
Children: John and Renee
Grandchildren: Nicholas, Jacob, Joseph and Zachary

Education
Undergraduate: Mississippi State, 1965 (Bachelor's in Math and Physical Education)
Graduate: Ole Miss, 1973 (Master's in Physical Education)

Coaching Experience:
Head coach at LSU, 2007-present; Head coach at Ole Miss, 1978-97; Head coach of the Houston Comets (WNBA), 1997-2006; Head coach U.S. Olympic Team, 2004; Head coach USA Basketball Women's World Championship Team, 2002

Coaching Highlights:
Selected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007; Head coach of the United States' gold medal women's basketball team in the 2004 Olympics; Head coach of four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets; Winningest coach in WNBA history with 211 wins; Winningest coach in Ole Miss history with 439 victories; Coached U.S. Women's Basketball team to a 38-0 mark in International competition in 2004; Named WNBA Coach of the Year three times; Named SEC Coach of the Year four times (Ole Miss three times, LSU once); Named 2002 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year; Led Ole Miss to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, including four Elite Eights and three Sweet 16s; Inducted into Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001; Named 1992 National Women's Basketball Coach of the Year by the Women's Basketball News Service; Led LSU to 2008 Final Four and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances

Van Chancellor’s Head Coaching Record

College

Year

Team

Record

Pct.

Notes

1978-79

Ole Miss

31-9

.775

AIAW State Tournament Champions

1979-80

Ole Miss

23-14

.662

 

1980-81

Ole Miss

14-12

.538

 

1981-82

Ole Miss

27-5

.844

NCAA First Round

1982-83

Ole Miss

26-6

.813

NCAA Second Round

1983-84

Ole Miss

24-6

.800

NCAA Second Round

1984-85

Ole Miss

29-3

.906

NCAA Elite Eight

1985-86

Ole Miss

24-8

.750

NCAA Elite Eight

1986-87

Ole Miss

25-5

.833

NCAA Sweet 16

1987-88

Ole Miss

24-7

.774

NCAA Sweet 16

1988-89

Ole Miss

23-8

.742

NCAA Elite Eight

1989-90

Ole Miss

22-10

.688

NCAA Sweet 16

1990-91

Ole Miss

20-9

.690

NCAA First Round

1991-92

Ole Miss

29-3

.906

NCAA Elite Eight

1992-93

Ole Miss

19-10

.655

 

1993-94

Ole Miss

24-9

.727

NCAA Second Round

1994-95

Ole Miss

21-8

.724

NCAA First Round

1995-96

Ole Miss

18-11

.621

NCAA First Round

1996-97

Ole Miss

16-11

.593

 

2007-08

LSU

31-6

.838

NCAA Women's Final Four; SEC Regular-Season Champions

2008-09 LSU 19-11 .633 NCAA Second Round
2009-10 LSU 21-10 .677 NCAA Second Round
2010-11 LSU 19-13 .594  
At LSU 4 years 90-40 .698
At Ole Miss 19 years 439-154 .740  

TOTALS

23 years

529-194

.732

 

Professional

Year

Team

Record

Pct.

Playoff Record

Notes

1997

Houston Comets

18-10

.685

2-0

WNBA Champions

1998

Houston Comets

27-3

.900

4-1

WNBA Champions

1999

Houston Comets

26-6

.813

4-2

WNBA Champions

2000

Houston Comets

27-5

.844

6-0

WNBA Champions

2001

Houston Comets

19-13

.594

0-2

WNBA Playoffs

2002

Houston Comets

24-8

.750

1-2

WNBA Playoffs

2003

Houston Comets

20-14

.588

1-2

WNBA Playoffs

2004

Houston Comets

13-21

.382

0-0

 

2005

Houston Comets

19-15

.559

2-3

WNBA Conference Finals

2006

Houston Comets

18-16

.529

0-2

WNBA Playoffs

TOTALS

10 years

211-111

.655

20-14

 

USA Basketball

 

Year

Team

Event

Record

Finish

2004

U.S. National Team

Olympics

8-0

Gold Medal

2004

U.S. National Team

Pre-Olympics Exhibition Games

16-0

--

2002

U.S. National Team

FIBA World Championships

9-0

Gold

2002

U.S. National Team

Opals World Challenge

4-0

1 st Place

2002

U.S. National Team

WBCA All Star Challenge

1-0

 

TOTALS

 

 

38-0

 
Taco Bell (Fourth Meal)