Longtime Rutgers women’s coach C. Vivian Stringer will sit out this season over concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school announced Monday afternoon, via The Associated Press.
Stringer, 73, hasn’t been with the team since April due to the coronavirus.
She skipped Big Ten media day last month, where a Rutgers team spokesman said she was worried about the lack of testing this season compared to last season and the rise of the Delta variant, among others. She also doesn’t want to transmit the disease to her daughter, who is at a higher risk due to spinal meningitis she’s had since she was 2.
Associate head coach Tim Eatman stepped in for Stringer in April, and will continue to lead the Scarlet Knights this season in her absence.
Stringer is one of the best coaches in women’s college basketball history, and has 1,055 wins to her name throughout her 50-year coaching career, the fourth all-time in Division I. Stringer was going to enter her 27th season at Rutgers, where she has compiled a 535-261 overall record. She also spent 12 seasons coaching at Iowa, and another 12 at Cheyney University. Stringer is the first head coach, in men’s or women’s basketball, to lead three different schools to a Final Four.
Rutgers went 14-5 last season and was knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the first round. The Scarlet Knights will kick off the 2021-22 season Tuesday against Saint Peter’s.