C. Vivian Stringer

College coach infobox
Name = C. Vivian Stringer

DateOfBirth = birth date and age|1948|03|16
Birthplace =
DateOfDeath =
Sport = Women's college basketball
College = Rutgers University
Title = Head coach
OverallRecord = 800-260
Awards =
Player =
Years =
Team =
Position =
Coach = Head Coach
CoachYears = 1995-current
CoachTeams = Rutgers University
University of Iowa
Cheyney State College

Charlaine Vivian Stringer (born March 16, 1948) 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 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.


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 highschool when she sued her school for not allowing her to be a cheerleader because of her race. She did win the case and was given the spot on her school's cheerleading squad, being the first black cheerleader in her town. She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Stringer and her late husband, William D. Stringer, have three children: David, Janine and Justin.


Cheyney State College

Stringer began her teaching and coaching career at Cheyney State College, a small, historically black school outside of Philadelphia, in 1972. She established Cheyney as one of the early powers in the women's game. Even before the seeds of Title IX had truly started to take root nationally, Stringer and her Wolves were playing to packed houses and creating a name for themselves on the East Coast. In 1982, the NCAA sponsored its first-ever national championship for women’s basketball, and Cheyney did the unthinkable by advancing to that first Final Four, losing to Louisiana Tech in the championship game. For Stringer and her charges, Cheyney’s postseason run put the small university on the national map, as well as on par with the national powerhouse programs.

University of Iowa

Following eleven successful seasons at Cheyney, Stringer moved to the University of Iowa. The Big Ten Conference had previously been ruled by Ohio State University, but Stringer soon built Iowa into a consistent women's power. The Hawkeyes generated unprecedented amounts of attention, including women’s basketball’s first-ever advance sellout. Stringer’s team's success culminated in Iowa’s trip to the 1993 Final Four, a feat that made Stringer the first coach in history to lead two different schools to the national semifinals.

Rutgers University

Stringer arrived at Rutgers in July 1995, succeeding another legendary women's coach, Theresa Grentz. She had little more than her faith in the once-proud program, calling it the “Jewel of the East” upon her hiring. After two years of gathering materials and going over blueprints, Stringer saw her plans begin to come together in 1998 when her team, filled with nine freshmen and sophomores, posted its first 20-win season in four years (22-10), winning the Big East 7 Division title with a 14-4 regular-season record. Following their first-ever Big East crown, the Scarlet Knights gave a hint of what was to come when freshman Tasha Pointer made two late free throws to lift RU to a 62-61 win at Iowa State and advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. They made it to the Final Four two years later in 2000.

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 now-cancelled CBS 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.

It was announced on April 19, 2007 that C. Vivian Stringer has signed a book deal to write her biography. The tentative title is "Stepping Up and Standing Tall". The book was released through Crown Books in early March of 2008.

Also, on February 27, 2008, Stringer became the third women's basketball coach to win 800 career games. She led her Scarlet Knights to the Elite Eight in 2008 where they dropped a 66-56 decision 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.

Awards and honors

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, Incorporated on July 15, 2008 during the sorority's Centennial Boule 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 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 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 “On the Banks”, 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, 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 1984 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 currently is 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, Sept. 9. The ceremony took place at Nike World Headquarters on the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon at 4:00 p.m. PST. The Stringer Center, a 35,000-square-foot facility, opened in June. 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.

References and notes

External links

* [http://scarletknights.com/basketball-women/coaches/stringer.html Biography Page]
* [http://scarletknights.com/basketball-women Rutgers Women's Basketball]
* [http://www.wvu.edu/~physed/blacksports/stringer.htm Black Sports WVU]
* [http://www.thnt.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070419/SPORTS0201/704190310/1002/SPORTS Book Deal Announcement]

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