NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University and head women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension that will keep the Hall of Fame coach courtside through the 2025-26 season.
Stringer, who ranks fifth in career victories (1,055) among women’s basketball coaches, will be 78 when the new contract expires.
Stringer, who just celebrated her 50th season as head coach and 26th at Rutgers, has led the Scarlet Knights to a top-three finish in the Big Ten Conference in two of the past three seasons and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances during that stretch.
"Rutgers is family, and I'm proud to be given the opportunity to continue a tradition of excellence with the next generation of Scarlet Knights," Stringer said. "This is what I love to do, and I do it today with as much care and passion as when I began. I am grateful to our administration, Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs, Deputy Athletic Director Sarah Baumgartner and President Jonathan Holloway for their continued support as we seek to win championships while developing, mentoring, and teaching young women for life in and around the game of basketball."
From 2021-22 through 2025-26, the contract guarantees compensation of $5.5 million (beginning at $1 million in year one), plus performance incentives and retention bonuses. Stringer, who last signed a four-year extension before the 2017-18 season, will enter her 27th season at the helm of the Scarlet Knights.
The first coach to ever lead three different programs to the Final Four, Stringer has guided Rutgers to 17 NCAA Tournament berths, including two trips to the Final Four and a National Championship appearance.
Stringer and the Scarlet Knights have posted a record of 58-24 for a .707 winning percentage over the past three seasons, finishing third in the 14-member Big Ten in two of the last three years, never finishing lower than fifth during that span.
"Coach Stringer has had an immeasurable impact on the lives of the many women who have come through our program over the years," said Rutgers Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs. "She is a giant in the world of college athletics and beyond. Her many accomplishments – 1,000 wins, Final Four appearances, being inducted into several Halls of Fame and countless awards and honors speak for themselves. She is an inspiration to all of us and we are proud to have her build on that legacy and continue to inspire future Scarlet Knights."
Academic success with a focus on graduation has been a staple of Stringer's tenure. Over the past two years, the Rutgers women's basketball program has posted consecutive perfect scores of 100 in graduation success rate, and this past winter, boasted a program-record six selections to the Academic All-Big Ten list.
Consistently conquering adversity throughout her profession career and personal life, Stringer guided Rutgers to another successful season in 2020-21 despite challenges stemming from a global pandemic. Following a five-week pause in competition, Rutgers won its final nine regular-season games and posted its best offensive numbers since Stringer took over the program in 1994.
She was named the ESPN National Coach of the Week on February 17 following the first three victories during that historic stretch – a conference winning stint not seen since the 2004-05 season.
More history was made in November of 2018 when Stringer eclipsed the monumental 1,000 career victory milestone. She became the fifth NCAA Division I women's basketball coach to reach 1,000 career wins, and was the first African-American coach to reach the milestone.
In 2019-20, Stringer surpassed the late, great Pat Summitt and became the NCAA record holder with 37 seasons of 20 or more victories. Following the season, she received the John R. Wooden Award Legends of Coaching honor.
"Vivian Stringer has set the standard of excellence both on the court and off," said Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway. "She is an icon in her field. Rutgers is blessed to have her among our roster of great coaches, and I am thrilled that we were able to negotiate a new contract for coach Stringer."