C. Vivian Stringer (Class of 2012)
Rutgers Women's Basketball
|Coach Stringer is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of college basketball.
Vivian Stringer has built an illustrious career highlighted by countless milestones, including her enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Entering her 41st season on the sidelines, Stringer was the primary architect in transforming three programs into national title contenders ever since her appearance in the first-ever NCAA National Championship game.
The first coach in men’s or women’s basketball history to take three different schools to the Final Four (Cheyney in 1982, Iowa in 1993 and Rutgers, in 2000 and again in 2007), Vivian has been a pioneer, visionary and leader during her four decades of success on the hardwood.
Coach Stringer has compiled a remarkable overall record of 863-308 (.737), which ranks third on the Division I women’s victories list and second among active coaches. In 2008, Vivian became just the eighth coach to reach the 800-win mark and her 31 20-win seasons are second-best in women’s basketball history.
Named one of the “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports” by Sports Illustrated in 2003, Vivian continues to be one of the most recognized coaches in the game.
A coal miner’s daughter, she learned a valuable lesson from her parents growing up in the small tight-knit community of Edenborn in western Pennsylvania, “Work hard and don’t look for excuses, and you can achieve anything.” That lesson has stuck with the legendary college basketball coach and has been one of the primary messages she has passed on to the hundreds of players who have stood before her. It’s been her perseverance and strength in the eyes of adversity that has meant the most to the people around her.She prides herself on not only teaching her players the game of basketball, but more importantly providing them life lessons that stand the test of time.
Coach Stringer has overcome many challenges in her life; the loss of her beloved father at the tender age of 19; in 1982, her only daughter being stricken with spinal meningitis just prior to her Cheyney team’s appearance in the very first Final Four; the sudden death of her beloved husband, Bill, to a heart attack on Thanksgiving Day 1992 and a bout with breast cancer which she kept a secret from nearly everyone in her life.
Through it all, Vivian has handled life with dignity and grace rising above the tragedies to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of young women today.
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