|Role:||Head coach of the Rutgers University women's basketball team|
Vivian Stringer is a prominent African-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 holds the distinction of being 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 third winningest coach in women’s basketball history, behind only Tennessee’s Pat Summitt, and North Carolina’s Sylvia Hatchell. She is tied at 900 wins with former University of Texas coach Jody Conradt. 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 fourth coach in women’s basketball history to reach this mark, joining Summitt, Hatchell, and Conradt.
Stringer is a native of Edenborn, Pennsylvania, and a member of the Alumni Hall of Fame at her alma mater. 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 Stringer and her late husband, William D. Stringer, have three children: David, Janine (Nina) and Justin.
Stringer arrived at Rutgers in July 1995, and 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 2008-2009 season, five McDonald’s All-Americans have been recruited by Stringer to play at Rutgers.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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
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 Tea her first USA Basketball experience came as an assistant for the bronze-medal 1980 USA Jones Cup Team. 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, 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.
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 WBCABoard 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. 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. 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 coachJerry Sloan. The 2009 inductees were officially enshrined to the Basketball Hall of Fame on September 11, 2009, in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Stringer was chosen as the assistant coach of the team representing the USA 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.
Stringer was named the head coach of the team representing the USA 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
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.