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Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer is retiring from coaching. Rutgers, and Stringer, announced the news Saturday, saying Stringer will officially retire in September.
Stringer, 74, spent 50 years as a collegiate head coach. She won 1,055 games over her career. Rutgers will begin searching for Stringer's replacement immediately.
Stringer said she got nostalgic about her career after celebrating the first women's Final Four team at Cheyney State. Stringer coached at Cheyney State and the University of Iowa before joining Rutgers. Stringer led Cheyney State — an HBCU — to the Final Four in 1982. The team reached the championship game, but lost to Louisiana. Cheyney State remains the only HBCU to play in a NCAA Division I championship game.
In a statement, she said it is time to "step aside and challenge others to step up and take this game forward."
"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. I am forever indebted to all the coaches who I worked beside. Some were former players, some were colleagues, but all were friends and family at the end of the day and were my most trusted relationships. To the young ladies that I was fortunate to have coached and mentored into the women and leaders of today, keep pushing the barriers, keep pushing for your spot at the table, and always know who you are."
Stringer called retiring the "hardest decision" of her life.
C. Vivian Stringer in Basketball Hall of Fame
Stringer leaves behind an immense legacy as a college coach. Stringer left Cheyney State for Iowa in 1983. She led Iowa to a Final Four appearance in 1993, winning the coach of the year award for her performance. She joined Rutgers in 1995 and has remained at the school over the past two and a half decades.
In 2001, Stringer was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. Eight years later, she was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Stringer was part of a Hall of Fame class that included Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.
In addition to her collegiate coaching career, Stringer also served as an assistant coach for USA Basketball. She helped lead the women to a gold medal in 2004.
Stringer retired from coaching with a 1,055-426 record, good for a .712 winning percentage.