Basketball Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer is retiring after 50 years as a women’s college head coach.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights coach, who led Cheyney State, Iowa, and Rutgers to 1,055 wins, four Final Fours and 28 NCAA Tournament appearances, announced her retirement on Saturday.
“My life has been defined by coaching and I’ve been on this journey for over five decades,” Stringer said in a press release. “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.”
She is the first coach (men’s or women’s) to lead three different schools to the Final Four (Cheyney 1982, Iowa 1993, and Rutgers 2000, 2007) and is the first Black Division I coach (men’s or women’s) to reach the 1000-win milestone.
“This was the hardest decision of my life, but I thank God he has allowed me to do the thing I love most,” Stringer said. “I am ready to start my new journey and spending more time with my family, children, and grandchildren. I am truly blessed to have had so many wonderful people in my life.”
The 74-year-old did not coach Rutgers during the 2021-22 season due to Covid-19 concerns.
Rutgers announced that all basketball games at Jersey Mike’s Arena will be played on C. Vivian Stringer Court. The school will also have a dedication ceremony next season.
“Coach Stringer’s impact has been felt across our campuses, around the state and throughout the nation,” Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said in a statement. “She is an icon whose accomplishments on and off the court are as remarkable as they are inspiring. Naming the court at one of the most notable venues in college basketball after her is a fitting and indelible tribute to one of the greatest coaches of all time.”
In 2009, Stringer was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Eight years earlier, she was enshrined in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Her retirement will be effective on September 1, according to Rutgers, adding that the search for the next head women’s basketball coach will start immediately.