PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers women’s basketball head coach C. Vivian Stringer has been selected to serve as an assistant coach for the 2004 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team.
“I am deeply honored to be asked to assist with our Olympic Team,” the ninth-year Rutgers head coach said. “The greatest tribute and privilege one can have as a player or as a coach is to represent their country at the Olympic Games.”
Stringer has been one of the most successful collegiate coaches in her 32 seasons on the sidelines. The only coach, men’s or women’s, to lead three different schools to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four (Cheyney in 1982, Iowa in 1993 and Rutgers in 2000), she is a three-time national coach of the year and a 2001 inductee into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Her 695 victories rank fourth all time among women’s college basketball coaches, and she has led her teams to 17 NCAA Tournament appearances.
“Coach Stringer’s appointment to the U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team staff is a great honor for Rutgers as well as a well-deserved national recognition of both her record and her ability as a coach,” said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Robert E. Mulcahy III. “She is a coach who both lives and teaches the highest values for herself and her team. We at Rutgers are all very proud of Vivian.”
Stringer has earned several national coach-of-the-year awards. She received the 1982 Wade Trophy, was named the Converse Coach of the Year in 1988, and earned the Naismith honor in 1993. Also in 1993, Stringer received national coach-of-the-year accolades from Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Converse, the Los Angeles Times and the Black Coaches Association. She has been named the WBCA District Coach of the Year five times (1983, 1985, 1988, 1993, 1998), was the 1991 and 1993 Big Ten Coach of the Year, and the 1998 BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
This will mark Stringer’s sixth coaching experience with the USA Basketball program. An assistant coach for the 1980 R. William Jones Cup Team (China) that earned a bronze medal, she then served as head coach of the 1982 U.S. Olympic Festival East Team (Indianapolis, IN) that won the bronze medal, the silver-medal winning 1985 World University Games Team (Kobe, Japan), the 1989 World Championship Qualifying Team (Sao Paulo, Brazil) that earned a berth in the 1990 FIBA World Championship, and the 1991 Pan American Games Team (Havana, Cuba) that claimed the bronze medal.
“Over the years I have had many opportunities to coach our USA teams all over the world,” Stringer said. “But, none can be as great and none can be more gratifying than coaching the Olympic Team.”
Stringer will join head coach Van Chancellor (WNBA’s Houston Comets) and assistant Anne Donovan (Seattle Storm) on the U.S. coaching staff. The final member’s addition, assistant Gail Goestenkors (Duke), was also announced today.
“I’m excited to work with such a highly professional and knowledgeable coaching staff,” said Stringer. “I know that I will learn so much from them, and hopefully I will be able to contribute to such a great staff. This is like a coach’s dream come true.”
“(And) I’m pleased that we’re adding Vivian Stringer, a person with tremendous credentials and outstanding experience,” Chancellor said. “I am really very pleased with our staff right now.”
“The Committee is very excited about having Gail Goestenkors and C. Vivian Stringer join Van and Anne on the 2004 staff,” said USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team Committee chair Renee Brown, WNBA Vice President for Player Personnel. “Both coaches bring a lot of experience and success at the highest level. Collegiately, they have both been to the Final Four and both have extensive international experience with USA Basketball. Gail and Vivian have worked with numerous All-Americans and other high-caliber athletes. They know what it takes to win and are invaluable additions to the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team coaching staff.”
The XXVIII Olympic Games women’s basketball competition will feature national teams from 12 nations competing in Athens, Greece, Aug. 14-28. The selection, made by the USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team Committee, is subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Stringer will be the second Rutgers head coach to represent the U.S at an Olympic Games. In 1992, then- RU mentor Theresa Grentz served as the head coach of the U.S. team that earned a bronze medal at the Barcelona Games.
The 2004 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team is in the midst of preparing for this summer’s Olympic Games. The team held a training camp Feb. 19-27, and will also train again March 18-28 and April 2-13. Each training camp will feature available core group members, as well as other selected players who will compete for one of the USA Senior National Team’s three remaining roster positions. Following the April training, the U.S. team will break for the WNBA season. They will reconvene on Aug. 3 to complete their pre-Olympic training at sites to be announced.
Stringer and the Scarlet Knights (21-11, 10-6 BIG EAST) finished as the runners-up at the 2004 BIG EAST Championship. The team now awaits the March 14 announcement of the 64-team field for the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
USA Basketball Release: http://www.usabasketball.com/seniorwomen/2004/04_woly_coll-assts.html