Entering Tuesday night’s game against South Florida, the Scarlet Knight’s were sitting on 899 wins for four games straight; each time falling short of claiming that illustrious 900th win for their head coach and leader, C. Vivian Stringer. However, the magic number turned out to be five.
Last night, Rutgers defeated South Florida, 68-56, giving Stringer her 900th career win. The Hall of Famer, in her 42nd season as head coach, is 900-330 overall in her career; which is a 73% winning percentage.
Nine hundred wins is no common feat. Stringer, 64, is just the seventh coach in NCAAM and NCAAW basketball history to achieve this level of greatness. Stringer’s monumental win has secured her place in the history books along side Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt, Sylvia Hatchell, Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight, and Jim Boeheim. Great company.
After her victory, Stringer expressed gratitude and also relief for finally reaching the milestone. She said, “I think it’s beyond words. I’m happy that it’s over. I can hardly breathe. It’s over and now I can just coach and smile, and get back to what I love to do because it’s never been about numbers. If it’s something special for all the generations of players and coaches that I’ve been a part of, then, yeah, I’m happy. But I’m looking forward to more.”
Summitt released a statement congratulating Stringer. “I am fortunate to call Vivian my friend, and could not be happier that she has reached the 900-win milestone in her career. I have great respect and admiration for Vivian and consider her one of the great pioneers of our game. She has had an incredible journey, and I hope she adds many more to her ‘W’ column.”
Indeed. Nine hundred wins is a huge accomplishment and testament to Stringer’s dedication, consistency, and most of all, perseverance. Despite the challenges and criticism she faced throughout her career, Stringer pressed on and led fearlessly. The example she’s set for her players and young girls everywhere is heroic and admirable. Her personal reputation and contribution to sports speaks more loudly than a 900th win ever could, but it’s still a gratifying achievement added to her long list of accolades.
Congratulations, C. Vivian Stringer!