Legendary women’s basketball pioneer C. Vivian Stringer is retiring after 50 years and 1,055 wins as a head coach, she announced Saturday.
Stringer, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, guided her teams to 28 NCAA tournament appearances and four Final Four berths across her storied career at Cheyney State, Iowa and most recently Rutgers.
Stringer’s retirement will be effective Sept. 1.
“My life has been defined by coaching and I’ve been on this journey for over five decades. It is rare that someone gets to do what they love for this long and I have been fortunate to do that,” Stringer said in a release. “After recently celebrating the first women’s Final Four team at Cheyney State University, where it all started, it sat with me that I have been at this for a long time. It is important to step aside and challenge others to step up and take this game forward.
“This was the hardest decision of my life, but I thank God he has allowed me to do the thing I love most. I am ready to start my new journey and spending more time with my family, children, and grandchildren. I am truly blessed to have had so many wonderful people in my life.”
The school said a national search for Stringer’s replacement will begin immediately.
Stringer, 74, is fourth all time in Division I women’s basketball victories, joining the likes of Tara VanDerveer, Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma with over 1,000 wins, and she was the first Black coach in the men’s or women’s game to hit that threshold. She was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
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SOURCE: ESPN, Alexa Philippou