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Final Four

One game from the top
Coach Stringer promised great things for the Rutgers Scarlet Knight women’s basketball team when she arrived in 1995, and the years leading up to 2001 proved she meant it. In each season from 1998 on, the Scarlet Knights climbed one tournament notch higher than the last.

By 2000, they had made it into the Final Four, earning Stringer an NCAA record. No other coach, male or female, had ever brought three different schools into this coveted turf. C. Vivian Stringer cleared daunting personal and professional hurdles to take Cheyney State, the University of Iowa and finally, Rutgers.

Rutgers lost in the semi-finals to top-ranked Tennessee. It was a disappointment, but no disgrace. Tennessee had won the national championship three times since 1996. But now, for Coach Stringer and Rutgers, the standards were set, and the pressure was on. To surpass themselves in 2001, the Scarlet Knights would have to win the ultimate contest.

Asked to define what she does, Coach Stringer has said that coaching is “never just basketball.” She not only trains the muscles and minds of her student-athletes, she trains their characters as well. But it is doubtful that even Coach Stringer was prepared for the challenges that lay in the season ahead. As everyone associated with the team would come to see, those challenges would demand more than skills, they would demand real strength.

Key events: 1995 - Spring 2000
July 14 1995: Starting with a Vow
Coach C. Vivian Stringer begins her tenure by promising to make Rutgers the “Jewel of the East.” First year team record: 13-15

1996-97: The Transitional Years
Rutgers endures two losing seasons as Coach Stringer recruits new players and builds her program.

March 21, 1998: The Sweet Sixteen
A team of freshman and sophomores loses to eventual national champion Tennessee, 92-60. Stringer is named Big East Coach of Year. Rutgers’ record: 22-10

March 22, 1999: The Elite Eight
It takes another national champion, Purdue, to stop the Scarlet Knights, 75- 62. That year’s record: 29-6

March 31, 2000: The Final Four
The Scarlet Knights’ longest March is halted by Tennessee, 64-54. Tasha Pointer, Linda Miles and Shawnetta Stuart are Rutgers’ top scorers, with 11 points each. The team’s year-end record: 26-8. Numerous articles report the Scarlet Knights are looking forward to next year.

 

 

   

 

Stringer’s pep talk before the Final Four

Stringer’s pep talk before the Final Four
» watch the video


Coach Stringer on her mission

Coach Stringer on her mission
» watch the video

“Freshman lifts Lady Vols” Associated Press Amarillo Globe-News 04/01/00 “Next time, we'll be a lot more settled,” says Coach Stringer.
» view article

“Rutgers: Makes vow to get to St. Louis in 2001” By Brad Parks New Jersey Star-Ledger 04/01/00 Tasha Pointer: "If I didn't think we'd be back, I wouldn't even bother showing up next year." Linda Miles: "We didn't come here to be happy and overwhelmed, we wanted to be respected . . . . We're going to be taking this experience and looking forward to next year."

Related links:

Coach Stringer on competing in the very first NCAA Final Four:
“One Crazy Event: Evolution of the Women's Final Four 1982-2002”


Rutgers at the Final Four in 2000

Scarlet Knights Women’s Basketball Home

Coach Stringer’s Official Profile

Coach Stringer’s Career File

NCAA’s Final Four Central

Official site for NCAA Women’s Basketball

Rutgers’ links to articles from the 2000-2001 Season

Injersey.com’ (New Jersey’s Home on the Internet) archive of Rutgers’ basketball stories for 2001




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