C. Vivian Stringer

Enshrined 2009
Edenborn, PA
Born: March 16, 1948


A coal miner’s daughter, C. Vivian Stringer learned a valuable lesson from her parents growing up in the small town of Edenborn, PA. “Work hard and don’t look for excuses, and you can achieve anything.” The lesson has stuck with the legendary coach who has turned tragedy into triumph. The first coach, male or female, to take three different schools to the Final Four, Stringer has been a visionary and pioneer winning more than 800 victories while catapulting three programs to national prominence. In 1971, barely out of college herself, Stringer began her coaching career at Cheyney State where she coached alongside John Chaney, sharing a gym and a coaching philosophy. Stringer led the historically black college into the first NCAA women’s Final Four in 1982 and just eleven years later landed in the Final Four again, this time at the University of Iowa. Stringer headed back east in 1995 building Rutgers University into a national program and reaching two Final Fours. The C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award, founded in 2002 by the U.S. Sports Academy, is presented annually to a woman who has experienced outstanding achievement as a coach.

Career Highlights

National Coach of the Year, 1982, 1988, 1993
First coach to lead three different schools to the NCAA Final Four
Led teams to 29 20-win seasons in her first 38 years
Enshrinee, Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, 2001