PISCATAWAY, N.J. — C. Vivian Stringer fought back tears as her Rutgers women’s basketball players celebrated their coach’s entrance to the exclusive 900 win club, then let out a sigh of relief.
As it turned out, the fifth time was the charm for Stringer, who became the fourth women’s college basketball coach to reach 900 wins as Rutgers cruised past South Florida 68-56 on Tuesday night.
Stringer, a Hall of Famer in her 42nd season as head coach, reached the milestone thanks to Erica Wheeler, who scored 24 points to help the Scarlet Knights (15-12, 6-8 Big East) snap a four-game losing streak.
“I think it’s beyond words,” said Stringer, whose record stands at 900-330. “I’m happy that it’s over. I can hardly breathe. It’s over, and now I can just coach and smile, and get back to what I love to do because it’s never been about numbers.”
Stringer joined Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt and Sylvia Hatchell, who reached the mark on Feb. 7. Only three Division I men’s coaches have reached 900 victories — Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight and Jim Boeheim.