C. Vivian Stringer

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C. Vivian Stringer
2 Rutgers women's basketball head coach, C. Vivian Stringer (cropped).jpg
Stringer in 2020
Current position
TitleHead coach
ConferenceBig Ten
Record480–267 (243–136 combined)
Biographical details
Born (1948-03-16) March 16, 1948 (age 71)
Edenborn, Pennsylvania
Alma materSlippery Rock
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1972–1983Cheyney State
Head coaching record
Overall1000–402 (.713)
Accomplishments and honors
  • 4x NCAA Regional - Final Four (1982, 1993, 2000, 2007)
  • 4x Big East Regular Season champion (1998, 1999, 2005, 2006)
  • Big East Tournament champion (2007)
  • 6x Big Ten Regular Season champion (1987–1990, 1992, 1993)
  • WNIT Champions (2014)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2009
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Charlaine Vivian Stringer[1] (born March 16, 1948)[2] is an American basketball coach, with one of the best records in the history of women's basketball. She is currently the head coach of the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

Stringer is the first coach in NCAA history to lead three different women's programs to the NCAA Final Four: Rutgers in 2000 and 2007, the University of Iowa in 1993, and Cheyney State College (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania) in 1982. She is the sixth winningest coach in women's basketball history.[citation needed] She was honored as the Naismith College Coach of the Year for women's basketball in 1993, and is a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. She was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2009, and was inducted in September of that year. On February 26, 2013, Stringer won her 900th game, becoming only the fifth coach in women's basketball history to reach this mark, joining Summitt, Hatchell, Jody Conradt, and Geno Auriemma.


Stringer is a native of Edenborn, Pennsylvania, and a member of the Alumni Hall of Fame at her alma mater.[3] One of her first great accomplishments was in high school when she sued her school for not allowing her to be a cheerleader because of her race. She won the case and was given a spot on her school's cheerleading squad, being the first black cheerleader in her town since 1955–1958, when Dolores Dantzler was on the team.[4] She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania where she was a four sport athlete, participating in basketball, softball, volleyball, and field hockey.[3] Stringer and her late husband, William D. Stringer, whom she met as a student at Slippery Rock, have three children: David, Janine (Nina) and Justin.

Coaching career[edit]

Stringer coaching in 2020

Stringer arrived at Rutgers in July 1995, after 23 years combined as head coach at Cheyney State and the University of Iowa. She stated in her autobiography that a major reason she took the coaching job at Rutgers was because she felt that her children were not learning enough about their culture or comfortable enough around fellow African Americans, due to the state of Iowa being an extremely white populated area. In 1998 her team posted its first 20-win season in four years (22–10), winning the Big East title with a 14–4 regular-season record. In the postseason, the Scarlet Knights advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 with a 62–61 win against Iowa State. In 2000, her team went to the Final Four.

In 2007, Rutgers again reached the NCAA Tournament's Final Four after upsetting #1 seed Duke. After the 2007 tournament, Stringer served as spokesperson for the Rutgers team during a media firestorm over a derogatory reference to the team made on the radio and television program Imus in the Morning. The Rutgers players eventually accepted an apology from talk-show host Don Imus. In the wake of the controversy, New York senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also met with Stringer.

In early March 2008, Stringer's autobiography, titled Standing Tall : A Memoir of Tragedy and Triumph, was released through Crown Books.

Also, on February 27, 2008, Stringer became the third women's basketball coach to win 800 career games. She led the Scarlet Knights to the Elite Eight in 2008 where they lost to fellow women's basketball powerhouse, the University of Connecticut.

For the 2008–09 season, five McDonald's All-Americans have been recruited by Stringer to play at Rutgers.

In 2018, she won her 1,000th game as a Rutgers coach, which made her the first African-American college basketball coach to win 1,000 games.[5][6]

Awards and honors[edit]

In recognition of her many accomplishments and service to the game, Stringer was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on June 9, 2001.[7]

She was honored with the degree of Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Howard University on May 10, 2008, the university's 140th commencement address. She was also inducted as an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority on July 15, 2008 during the sorority's Centennial Ball in Washington, DC.[8]

Stringer has been named the National Coach of the Year three times (Wade Trophy, 1982; Converse, 1988; and Naismith, 1993) by her peers. She also was named the 1988 Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coach of the Year,[9] the 1993 Coach of the Year by Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Converse, the Los Angeles Times and the Black Coaches Association; the 2000 Female Coach of the Year by the Rainbow/PUSH Organization, a group founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson; the District V Coach of the Year in 1985, 1988 and 1993; the District I Coach of the Year in 1998; the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1993; the BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2005; and the 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2005 Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Coach of the Year.[10]

One of her most personally-gratifying accolades is the 1993 Carol Eckman Award, which acknowledges the coach most demonstrating spirit, courage, integrity, commitment, leadership and service to the game of women’s basketball.[11]

A finalist for the Naismith National Coach-of-the-Year Award five times during her tenure at Rutgers, Stringer was honored by the U.S. Sports Academy when the organization decided to name its annual women's coaching award in her honor. The C. Vivian Stringer Medallion Award of Sport for Women’s Coaching was handed out for the first time in July 2002. In 2003, she was recognized by Sports Illustrated as one of the "101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports," and during the summer of 2004 she received the Black Coaches Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to her extensive collegiate experience, Stringer also has successfully tested herself in the international arena. An assistant coach for the gold-medal 2004 U.S. Olympic Team,[12] her first USA Basketball experience came as an assistant for the bronze-medal 1980 USA Jones Cup Team.[13] Stringer also has had extensive head-coaching experience in the national program, leading the 1982 U.S. Olympic Festival East Team to a bronze medal, the 1985 U.S. World University Games Team (Kobe, Japan) to a silver,[14] the 1989 U.S. World Championship Qualifying Team (São Paulo, Brazil) to a gold and a qualification for the following year’s FIBA World Championship, and the 1991 Pan American Games Team (Havana, Cuba) to a bronze medal.[15]

A noted administrator, Stringer was one of the key players in the development of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. She served as a voting member of the WBCA Board of Directors, the Amateur Basketball Association of the United States and the Nike Coaches Advisory Board. In the past, Stringer has served as a member of the Kodak All-America Selection Committee and was elected to the Women’s Sports Foundation Advisory Board.

The C. Vivian Stringer Child Development Center was dedicated on Tuesday, September 9, 2008.[16] The ceremony took place at Nike World Headquarters on the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon. The Stringer Center, a 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) facility, opened in June 2008.[16] The center houses 26 classrooms, providing care, learning and development for approximately 300 children between the ages of six months and five years old. The Nike campus buildings pay tribute to some of the world's best athletes and coaches. Some of the athletes honored include John McEnroe, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Michael Jordan, Mike Schmidt, Nolan Ryan, Lance Armstrong, Mia Hamm, Ken Griffey, Jr., Pete Sampras, Jerry Rice and Tiger Woods. Stringer is the third woman, the second coach, and the first African-American woman to have a building named after her on Nike's campus.

On April 6, 2009 it was officially announced that she has been inducted to the Hall of Fame with Michael Jordan, John Stockton, David Robinson and long-time Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan.[17] The 2009 inductees were officially enshrined to the Basketball Hall of Fame on September 11, 2009, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

USA Basketball[edit]

Stringer was chosen as the assistant coach of the team representing the US in 1980 at the William Jones Cup competition in Taipei, Taiwan. The team started out strong, winning their first three games. Then they faced the Republic of China – Blue team, who beat the USA 86–81. They won their next fours games, including a close match against the undefeated Republic of China – White team, which they won 84–82, and a rematch against the Blue team, which they won 66–62. With a 4–0 record in medal round play, they simply had to beat their last opponent, South Korea, who had a 3~1 record, to win the gold. However, South Korea won the game 90–79. The Republic of China – White also won. leaving three teams tied with 4–1 records. The tie-breaker was point differential, and this left the USA team with the bronze medal. Mary Ostrowski and Valerie Still made the All-Tournament Team.[18]

Stringer was named the head coach of the team representing the US at the World University Games held in Kobe, Japan in July 1985. The team won their three preliminary games with ease, beating the People's Republic of Korea, Yugoslavia and Great Britain by more than 25 points each. Their next game, against China, was much closer, but the USA team had balanced scoring, with five players in double figures for points, and won 83–78. The USA team played Canada in the semifinal, and again had five players with double-digit scoring, winning 85–61 to advance to the gold medal game against the USSR. The USA fell behind by as much as 18 points in the second half. They attempted a comeback, and cut the margin, but the USSR hit almost 55% of their shots and went on to claim the gold medal 87–81. The USA received the silver medal. Katrina McClain was the leading scorer and rebounder for the USA team with 17.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.[19]

Film: This Is a Game, Ladies[edit]

Stringer and the entire Rutgers team were the subject of the 2004 documentary: This Is a Game, Ladies that followed the team during the 2000–2001 season. The film was by directed by Peter Schnall and aired on PBS.[20]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Cheyney Wolves (Independent) (1971–1983)
1972–79 Cheyney 144–35
1979–80 Cheyney 26–7 AIAW Tournament
1980–81 Cheyney 26–3 AIAW Tournament
1981–82 Cheyney 28–3 NCAA Runner-up
1982–83 Cheyney 27–3 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Cheyney: 251–51 (.831)
Iowa Hawkeyes (Big Ten Conference) (1983–1995)
1983–84 Iowa 17–10 11–7 T-3rd
1984–85 Iowa 20–8 14–4 2nd
1985–86 Iowa 22–7 15–3 3rd NCAA Second Round
1986–87 Iowa 26–5 17–1 T-1st NCAA Elite Eight
1987–88 Iowa 29–2 17–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1988–89 Iowa 27–5 16–2 T-1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1989–90 Iowa 23–6 15–3 T-1st NCAA Second Round
1990–91 Iowa 21–9 13–5 T-2nd NCAA Second Round
1991–92 Iowa 25–4 16–2 1st NCAA Second Round
1992–93 Iowa 27–4 16–2 T-1st NCAA Final Four
1993–94 Iowa 21–7 13–5 3rd NCAA Second Round
1994–95 Iowa 11–17 6–10 9th
Iowa: 269–84 (.762) 169–45 (.790)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Big East Conference) (1995–2013)
1995–96 Rutgers 13–15 8–10 5th BE7
1996–97 Rutgers 11–17 8–10 3rd BE7
1997–98 Rutgers 22–10 14–4 1st BE7 NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1998–99 Rutgers 29–6 17–1 T-1st NCAA Elite Eight
1999-00 Rutgers 26–8 12–4 T-3rd NCAA Final Four
2000–01 Rutgers 23–8 13–3 3rd NCAA Second Round
2001–02 Rutgers 9–20 5–11 11th
2002–03 Rutgers 21–8 13–3 2nd NCAA Second Round
2003–04 Rutgers 21–12 10–6 T-6th NCAA First round
2004–05 Rutgers 28–7 14–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2005–06 Rutgers 27–5 16–0 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2006–07 Rutgers 27–9 12–4 2nd NCAA Runner-up
2007–08 Rutgers 27–7 14–2 3rd NCAA Elite Eight
2008–09 Rutgers 21–13 9–7 7th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2009–10 Rutgers 18–15 9–7 T-6th NCAA First round
2010–11 Rutgers 20–13 11–5 4th NCAA Second Round
2011–12 Rutgers 20–13 10–6 6th NCAA First round
2012–13 Rutgers 16–14 7–9 T-9th
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (American Athletic Conference) (2013–2014)
2013–14 Rutgers 28–9 12–6 4th WNIT Champions
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Big Ten Conference) (2014–present)
2014–15 Rutgers 23–10 12–6 5th NCAA Second Round
2015–16 Rutgers 19–15 7–9 8th WNIT Second Round
2016–17 Rutgers 6-24 3-13 14th
2017–18 Rutgers 20–12 7–9 9th
2018–19 Rutgers 22-10 13-5 3rd NCAA First Round
Rutgers: 480–267 (.643) 256–142 (.643)
Total: 1019–412 (.712)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vivian., Stringer, C. (2008). Standing tall : a memoir of tragedy and triumph. Tucker, Laura, 1973- (1st paperback ed.). New York: Three Rivers Press. p. 36. ISBN 9780307406279. OCLC 232980433.
  2. ^ "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Skaine, p. 145
  4. ^ Thomas, Katie (April 5, 2008). "Stringer Concedes Error in Bio". The New York Times. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
  5. ^ Kratch, James. "Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer wins 1,000th game: Hillary Clinton, others congratulate her on milestone". NJ.com. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  6. ^ "The Undefeated on Twitter: "Last night, C. Vivian Stringer became the first African-American coach in college basketball to win 1,000 games. Dawn Staley and Carolyn Peck share their thoughts on how the Basketball Hall of Famer made an impact on their careers". Twitter.com. The Undefeated. February 12, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "WBHOF Inductees". Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "Honorary Member C. Vivian Stringer". AKA1908. Archived from the original on April 28, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  9. ^ "Past Russell Athletic/WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  10. ^ "C. Vivian Stringer". Archived from the original on March 25, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  11. ^ "Carol Eckman Award". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  12. ^ "Games of the XXVIIIth Olympiad – 2004". Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  13. ^ "1980 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  14. ^ "THIRTEENTH WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES – 1985". Retrieved July 13, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Eleventh Pan American Games – 1991". USA Basketball. February 20, 2014. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Nike dedicates Stringer child development center". ESPN.com. September 10, 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  17. ^ "NAISMITH MEMORIAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES FIVE MEMBERS AS THE CLASS OF 2009". Archived from the original on April 9, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  18. ^ "1980 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on April 28, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
  19. ^ "Thirteenth World University Games – 1985". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  20. ^ "This is a Game, Ladies". PBS. Retrieved November 16, 2013.


  • Skaine, Rosemarie (2001). Women College Basketball Coaches. Foreword by Betty F. Jaynes. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland. ISBN 9780786409204.
  • Stringer, C. Vivian and Tucker, Lauren (2009) Standing Tall: A Memoir of Tragedy and Triumph. Crown/Archetype Publishing. ISBN 9780307406279.
  • Encyclopeida.com-Contemporary Black Biography COPYRIGHT Thomas Gale

External links[edit]