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Tue, 03.16.1948

C. Vivian Stringer, Basketball Coach born

C. Vivian Stringer

*C. Vivian Stringer was born on this date in 1948. She is a former black basketball coach.

Charlaine Vivian Stringer is a native of Edenborn, Pennsylvania, and a member of the Alumni Hall of Fame at her alma mater. While in high school, she sued her school for not allowing her to be a cheerleader because she was Black. Stringer won the case and was given a spot on her school's cheerleading squad. She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, where she was a four-sport athlete, participating in basketball, softball, volleyball, and field hockey.

She began her teaching and coaching career at Cheyney University in the early 1970s. Even before Title IX's seeds had 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 her team moved to that first Final Four, losing to Louisiana Tech in the championship game.

Following 12 successful seasons at Cheyney, Stringer sought a new challenge and found that opportunity at the University of Iowa. Beginning with the 1983-84 season, she built a program that helped elevate women's basketball to a whole new level. Iowa's trip to 1993 Final Four made her the first coach in history to lead two different schools to the national semifinals. Their women's basketball had the first-ever advance sellout at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 

Stringer arrived at Rutgers in July 1995, after 23 years combined as head coach at Cheyney State and the University of Iowa. 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, Rutgers 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 early March 2008, Stringer's autobiography, Standing Tall: A Memoir of Tragedy and Triumph, was released. For the 2008–09 season, five McDonald's All-Americans were recruited by Stringer to play at Rutgers.

She is the first coach in NCAA history to lead three different women's programs to the NCAA Final Four: Rutgers, the University of Iowa, and Cheyney State College in 1982. She is the sixth winningest coach in women's basketball history. 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.

In 2018, she won her 1,000th game as a head coach, the first Black college basketball coach to win 1,000 games. She retired in 2022. Stringer and her late husband, William D. Stringer, whom she met as a student at Slippery Rock, have three children: David, Janine (Nina), and Justin.

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