HOW COACH C.V MENTORS WO
Rutgers University head women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer wanted to be a cheerleader in high school to get close to the boys. She was only the second Black cheerleader in the history of her Pennsylvania high school; she had to sue to get on the squad. No women were
closer to the male players than the cheerleaders. She wanted to be with them so the
players could hear her shouting instructions to them on the field.
“No one had to tell me that I wanted to become a coach,” she says.
She sat down for an interview recently with DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti, who
sits on Rutgers’ Board of Trustees. As women’s sports evolved, Stringer put her stamp on
sports and leadership, not as a cheerleader but as the first NCAA basketball coach, male
or female, to lead three schools to the Final Four; the third winningest coach in women’s
basketball history, encroaching on her 850th win this season; and as an inductee in the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to be the best coach that I could possibly be,” she says.
“I tried to teach the young women to be strong. Some would choose to become lawyers and
some would become computer scientists and some would become teachers and the like.
But I’ve always been excited when any of the young women would choose to go into basketball, and then I feel that I have an opportunity to multiply myself times 10.”
For Stringer, coaching is all about being a leader and preparing women to take
BY JOY BUCHANAN & LUKE VISCONTI