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.
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
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.
pep talk before the Final Four
» watch the video
Coach Stringer on her mission
» watch the video
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."
Coach Stringer on competing in the very first NCAA Final Four:
Crazy Event: Evolution of the Women's Final Four 1982-2002”
Rutgers at the Final Four in 2000
Knights Women’s Basketball Home
Stringer’s Official Profile
Final Four Central
site for NCAA Women’s Basketball
to articles from the 2000-2001 Season
Injersey.com’ (New Jersey’s Home on the Internet) archive
of Rutgers’ basketball stories for 2001