Legendary Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer announced Saturday that she is retiring after a 50-year head coaching career highlighted by a 27-year run with the Scarlet Knights. Stringer will exit the profession at No. 5 on the all-time wins list for NCAA women's basketball coaches. Rutgers announced that the court at Jersey Mike's Arena will be named in her honor.
"My life has been defined by coaching and I've been on this journey for over five decades," Stringer said. "It is rare that someone gets to do what they love for this long and I have been fortunate to do that. I love Rutgers University for the incredible opportunity they offered me and the tremendous victories we achieved together. There's always a soft spot in my heart for the University of Iowa and Dr. Christine Grant for giving me my first major coaching position, when me and my husband trusted her to move our family to Iowa. She was a strong believer in women's rights and that's a responsibility that I have championed and will continue to take up the fight for."
Stringer, 74, became the first coach on the men's or women's side to lead three programs to the Final Four in 2000, when she coached Rutgers to a national semifinal appearance after also leading Iowa and Cheyney State to Final Four appearances earlier in her career. In the 2018-19 season, she became the first African-American coach to reach the 1,000-win mark.
She is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Stringer also enjoyed a storied career working with USA Basketball, serving as an assistant coach for Team USA during its gold medal run in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
After 50 years and 1,055 wins, @cvivianstringer will retire from coaching, effective Sept. 1.— Rutgers W.Basketball (@RutgersWBB) April 30, 2022
It is impossible to find the words right now to sum up what you mean to us and to the game, but we'll start with two:
We love you, Coach.
📰 https://t.co/o37BXjOebn pic.twitter.com/l96DjhY43b
"Coach Stringer's impact has been felt across our campuses, around the state and throughout the nation," Rutgers president Jonathan Holloway said. "She is an icon whose accomplishments on and off the court are as remarkable as they are inspiring."
The school announced that a national search for Stringer's successor will begin immediately.