C. Vivian Stringer, head coach of the Rutgers women’s basketball team, will be inducted tomorrow into the Basketball Hall of Fame (right here in Springfield). We here at the Title IX Blog have much respect and admiration for Coach Stringer, and we are thrilled to see her recognized alongside Michael Jordan, John Stockton, David Robinson, and Jerry Sloan, the other inductees.
Stringer’s coaching career has spanned the lifetime of Title IX; she began her first head coaching job at Cheyney State, a small, historically black college in Pennsylvania, in 1972, the same year Congress passed the law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded schools. Since that time, Coach Stringer has amassed of the best records in women’s basketball, with over 800 career wins, as well as the distinction of being the first coach to to reach the NCAA final four with three different teams (Rutgers in 2000 and 2007, University of Iowa in 1993, and Cheyney State in 1982). In the wake of Don Imus’s racist and misogynistic comments about her team, Stringer’s strength and poise, and that which she showcased in her players, successfully challenged the streoetypes that Imus had espoused.
Over the course of her long career, Coach Stringer has inspired players, elevated the game of women’s basketball, and cultivated widespread respect and recognition for women’s athletics and female athletes. For this, C. Vivian Stinger is most deserving of the recognition she will receive through enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.