Former WKU women’s hoops coach inducted into hall of fame

Published 2:52 pm Thursday, June 16, 2022

Former Western Kentucky women’s basketball coach Paul Sanderford has been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Sanderford was one of eight members of the Class of 2022 honored at an induction ceremony Saturday at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

Van Chancellor, a member of the 2001 class inducted into the WBHOF, was there as Sanderford’s presenter.

Email newsletter signup

Sanderford thanked many people during his speech in addition to the WBHOF and Chancellor, including “the real head coach” – his wife, Yvette – and his son, Aaron, and his wife, Amy.

He also thanked several former players and coaches – a group that featured Michelle Clark-Heard and Jeff Walz. Clark-Heard played for and coached with Sanderford and is now head coach at Cincinnati. Walz began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at WKU under Sanderford and is now head coach at Louisville.

Sanderford served as head coach at WKU for 15 seasons (1983-97) and amassed 365 total wins. He led the Lady Toppers to three Final Fours, including the 1992 national championship game. WKU made 12 NCAA tournament appearances under Sanderford and posted 20 wins in all but two seasons with the program.

The Lady Toppers earned 15 NCAA tournament victories during his career, advancing to at least the Sweet Sixteen four times. WKU claimed five Sun Belt Conference regular-season championships and seven league tournament titles under Sanderford. He earned SBC Coach of Year honors three times (1983, 1986 and 1991), while coaching seven different All-Americans.