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C. Vivian Stringer, Celebrated Basketball Coach, Is Retiring


C. Vivian Stringer, the Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach at Rutgers University who first commanded a university sideline in 1971 and have become one among her sport’s premier defensive minds, said Saturday that she would retire in September.

The primary Black coach to win no less than 1,000 Division I basketball games, Stringer, 74, has long been among the many celebrated and idolized figures in college sports. Lately, though, she has sometimes been at a remove from the Rutgers program she built right into a mainstay of ladies’s basketball over greater than a quarter-century in charge in Piscataway, N.J. She didn’t coach last season, and she or he missed some games near the top of the 2018-19 season due to exhaustion.

“After recently celebrating the primary women’s Final 4 team at Cheyney State University, where it began, it sat with me that I even have been at this for a very long time,” Stringer said in an announcement. “It’s important to step aside and challenge others to step up and take this game forward.”

Stringer won 535 games at Rutgers, where she became the coach in 1995 and relied on a punishing “55” defense that used all five players in full-court pressure. Her Rutgers run included two Final 4 appearances from 17 N.C.A.A. tournament berths.

She also guided Cheyney State, a historically Black university near Philadelphia, to the 1982 title game — the primary in N.C.A.A. history for ladies’s basketball — and the University of Iowa to the 1993 Final 4. At Iowa, where she inherited a program in 1983 that had won just seven games within the previous season, she turned the Hawkeyes right into a model of consistency and power within the Big Ten Conference.

An N.C.A.A. championship was ultimately elusive, but Stringer will retire with 1,055 profession victories, the fifth most in Division I women’s college basketball, and a spot within the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, to which she was inducted in 2009. Dozens of Stringer’s players went on to play within the W.N.B.A. and in skilled leagues abroad, including Kahleah Copper, Arella Guirantes, Cappie Pondexter and Erica Wheeler.

Rutgers announced in April 2021 that it had reached a $5.5 million contract extension with Stringer, who was then expected to stay with the Scarlet Knights until the top of the 2025-26 season. But she never coached one other game, fueling speculation in regards to the program’s future.

This past season, Rutgers went 11-20, with a 3-14 record in Big Ten Conference play.

Whilst Rutgers was announcing the beginning of a training search on Saturday, university officials were desirous to pay tribute to Stringer, who was just the second full-time women’s basketball coach at school history. The university said it will name its home basketball court for Stringer, who can even receive $872,988 in reference to a retirement agreement.

“My life has been defined by coaching and I’ve been on this journey for over five a long time,” Stringer said. “It’s rare that somebody gets to do what they love for this long and I even have been fortunate to try this.”

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