Tanya Haave set the standard for female athletes in Colorado during her years at Evergreen High School, and then established herself at the top of the collegiate and professional levels, too. In simple terms, she’s been a success in all that she’s attempted.
For example, the 1980 Evergreen graduate led her three prep basketball teams to a 60-10 total mark, two Jefferson County League Titles and a pair of State semifinal appearances in the playoffs. Averaging 26.8 points, 13 rebounds and more than five assists per game, she was named to the all-conference and all-state basketball teams all three years.
Her prep volleyball teams compiled a 67-9 tally, including a string of 52 consecutive wins in her final two seasons. As undefeated State champions, Haave’s last two Evergreen squads set the cornerstone for the Cougars’ 11-season, 182-0 run, which still ranks among the best marks in the nation, regardless of sport. As a team leader at the net, Haave topped all classification levels of the state in kills and blocks throughout her Evergreen career and received all-conference and all-state designation in her senior year.
For her 1979 dual-sport performance, Haave, in early 1980, was named the High School Athlete of the Year by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame and Sportswoman of the Year by the Sportswomen of Colorado organization. She also earned the prestigious Fred Steinmark Award presented by the Rocky Mountain News for overall high school achievement.
At the University of Tennessee, Haave played basketball for four years and volleyball for two. Again, her presence provided a significant cornerstone for one of the nation’s top collegiate women’s basketball programs. A three-year starter, Haave graduated as the school’s career-leading female basketball scorer. Sparking the Vols to three Final Four appearances and two title games, she averaged 13.8 points and six rebounds a game in 128 contests as UT’s program established itself as a perennial contender for the national championship.
As a junior at Tennessee, Haave’s honors included Kodak All-American, All-SEC First Team, All-SEC Tournament Team, Academic All-SEC and MVP of the 1982-83 squad. In 1984, she received the Chancellor’s Citation for Academic Excellence and Leadership (at the university) as well as a Woman of Achievement Award from the UT Commission for Women.
On the basketball side of her ledger, Haave participated in the 1984 Olympic Trials, was finalist for the 1983 Pan American Team and a member of the USA Basketball’s 1982 Jones Cup National Team. In 1981, she was a Junior National Team member and won a gold medal playing in the National Sports Festival.
Following her UT graduation in 1985, Haave developed an impressive overseas résumé. In 14 years of professional basketball stardom, she played for teams in France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Australia. Collecting an array of international accolades, she was named the most valuable player of the Saatila SK team for the 1996-97 season and MVP of the Canberra Capitals team in 1997. She was a 12-time All-Star during her pro career and also was a head coach in Saatila, Sweden for a year.
After retiring from the professional ranks, Haave was the 1999-2001 assistant coach at Regis University in Denver, where she was responsible for all phases of recruiting as well as scouting, film exchange, team travel, practice planning and game preparation. She currently is in her third year as an assistant coach on Ceal Barry’s staff at the University of Colorado.
Haave already has been inducted into the Sportswomen of Colorado Hall of Fame (1983), Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame (1993), Evergreen/Conifer Hall of Fame (1995) and the National High School Sports Hall of Fame (2001).
In simple terms, she’s been a success in all that she’s attempted.