PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP)Rutgers dedicated its court to former coach C. Vivian Stringer on Sunday before the team’s game against No. 4 Ohio State.
The 74-year-old won 1,055 games in her 50-year Hall of Fame career before retiring after last season. She was at Rutgers from 1995-2022 after stints at Cheyney State and Iowa.
”I was stunned when I saw that, I still can’t believe that,” an emotional Stringer said of seeing her name on the court.
There have only been a handful of schools to name their courts after women’s basketball coaches, including Tennessee for Pat Summitt, N.C. State for Kay Yow, Arkansas-Little Rock for Joe Foley and DePaul for Doug Bruno.
Stringer was fourth all time among Division I women’s basketball coaches in wins behind Tara VanDerveer, Geno Auriemma and Summitt.
Stringer made four Final Four appearances and reached the NCAA Tournament 28 times. She was the first coach in men’s or women’s basketball to take three different teams to the national semifinals.
She led the Scarlet Knights to two Final Fours and three Big East regular-season titles. Stringer was on leave last year because of COVID-19 concerns.
Stringer was in attendance and at halftime her family and many former players gathered on the court to celebrate the dedication of it to her.
”It’s a tremendous honor,” Rutgers coach Coquese Washington said of honoring Stringer.
”It’s not that often you get to be part of celebrating a legend. Me personally to be a part of this today was an amazing experience. Something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Rutgers gave Stringer a piece of the floor that her teams played on as a gift.
”I think my team always know that when I’m overwhelmed I just cry,” she said to an adoring crowd at halftime. ”I love you all.”
Stringer won 20 or more games 37 times in her career, finishing with a 1,055-426 record (.712 winning percentage). She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 and enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. Stringer also served as an assistant coach on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team that won a gold medal.
Throughout the game Rutgers played video tributes to Stringer, including from South Carolina coach Dawn Staley, Stanford’s VanDerveer and former player Essence Carson.
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