In addition to his recent selection to 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. Add to that his 211 victories as head coach of the Comets and the 439 games he won at Ole Miss, and Chancellor comes to LSU with nearly 700 victories to his credit.
Most recently, 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.
His 1998 Comets team still holds the record for highest winning percentage in the history of NBA and WNBA basketball with a 27-3 mark (.900).
In 10 years with the Comets, Chancellors' teams posted a 211-111 record, which makes him the winningest coach in the history of the league. 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.
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, with 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 at the NCAA Tournament four times, while his teams made the Sweet 16 on three other occasions.
Chancellor was named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year three times, 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 also 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.
A book published in the fall of 1999, "Nothin' But a Champion," chronicles Chancellor's life from his childhood in Mississippi through his third WNBA Championship with the Houston Comets. In addition to his coaching duties, Chancellor has also spent time serving as a television analyst for women's college basketball, working for both ESPN and SEC-TV.
Van Chancellor File
Birthdate: Sept. 27, 1943
Hometown: Louisville, Miss.
Children: John and Renee
Grandchildren: Nicholas, Jacob, Joseph and Zachary
Undergraduate: Mississippi State, '65 (Bachelor's in Math and Physical Education)
Graduate: Ole Miss, '73 (Master's in Physical Education)
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.
CHANCELLOR BY THE NUMBERS
1 – Olympic Gold Medal (2004)
3 – SEC Coach of the Year awards; WNBA Coach of the Year awards
4 – NCAA Elite Eights (1985, 1986, 1989, 1992)
4 – WNBA World Championships (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000)
14 – NCAA Tournament appearances
15 – 20-win, NCAA seasons
20 – WNBA postseason victories
29 – Years of coaching experience, 19 at Ole Miss/10 in WNBA
38 – International victories with Team USA
439 – Victories as the coach at Ole Miss
678 – Career coaching victories, college, professional and international