Rutgers women’s basketball head coach, C. Vivian Stringer won her 800th career game Wednesday night at the friendly confines of The RAC.
Her #4 nationally ranked Scarlet Knights outlasted the DePaul Blue Demons by the score of 60-46. Fans held and waved signs that read, "Congratulations Coach Stringer 800!"
The signs were frantically handed out by Event Staff as Senior forward Essence Carson dribbled out the clock, and handed the game ball to Stringer.
The win makes Coach Stringer only the third NCAA women’s basketball coach to win 800 or more games.
Stringer joins Jody Condradt, former head coach of the University of Texas and Tennessee’s current head coach, Pat Summit in the 800 win club.
It is also worth noting that Stringer is the first black woman to join this elite class of coaches. Appropriately, the win came in the Scarlet Knights’ final game in February, nationally regarded as Black History Month.
When asked what it meant to be the first black woman to win 800 games as a women’s basketball head coach, her reply was that she hadn’t even realized it.
Stringer began her coaching career 37 years ago at Cheyney State College, a historically black college outside of Philadelphia. It was there that she garnered a relationship with John Chaney, the legendary head coach of Temple.
Long before the women’s game gained any national recognition, Stringer turned Cheyney into one of the game’s early national powers compiling a record of 251 wins and 51 losses between 1971 and 1983.
She left the school for the University of Iowa after leading Cheyney to a 27-3 record in 1982-83 season. She led Cheyney to the final four two seasons before that, the first year that the tournament for women’s basketball was switched to the NCAA from the AIAW.
Stringer has coached Rutgers since 1995, and has led the Knights to two final four appearances, including last year’s memorable run to the championship game a season ago.
The only thing missing from the C. Vivian Stringer legacy is a National Championship. One she hopes to bring to the banks of the old Raritan this season.
The Scarlet Knights’ number 4 national ranking has RU in prime position for a number 1 seed in the NCAAs this March.
The Knights have two more regular season games left, and currently share the Big East lead with the University of Connecticut.
Should RU beat Syracuse on Saturday afternoon and the Huskies win at DePaul later that evening, Monday night will be the showdown for the regular season Big East title.