Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

Coping with Tragedy

Coping with Tragedy

More From Vivian

In this video

Coach Stringer describes about how she coped with two major tragedies in her life - her daughter's illness and her husband's death.

Vivian's Biography

Cause of Choice: Walk ‘n’ Roll at Children’s Specialized Hospital

Early Sports Heroines: Tennis champion Althea Gibson & Olympic track star Wilma Rudolph

Survivor: She has overcome breast cancer, her beloved husband’s early death, and her daughter’s debilitating spinal meningitis.

Most Proud Of: “Seeing young women, seventeen and eighteen year olds, evolve.”

“Work hard and don’t look for excuses, and you can achieve anything.”  This was the lesson that legendary college basketball coach, Vivian Stringer, learned from her parents while growing up in Edenborn, Pennsylvania, and one of the key lessons that she passed on to the hundreds of players that she has coached over the course of her long and illustrious career. 
Stringer began her teaching and coaching career in the early 70s at Cheyney, a small, historically-black college outside of Philadelphia.  Even before the seeds of Title IX had truly started to take root nationally, Stringer propelled her team at Cheyney to the final four in the NCAA’s first-ever National Championship for women’s basketball in 1982.  She later did the same for her teams at the University of Iowa in 1993, and at Rutgers in 2000 and 2007, earning her the distinction of being the first coach in NCAA history to lead three different schools to the national semifinals. When Don Imus made his notorious, derogatory remarks about her Rutgers team in 2007, Coach Stringer’s eloquent public response modeled dignity and poise for her players and the nation.  
 
The third winningest coach in women's basketball history, Stringer has received a multitude of honors over the course of her career, including being named the National Coach of the Year three times (Wade Trophy, 1982; Converse, 1988; and Naismith, 1993) by her peers, the 1993 Coach of the Year by Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Converse, the Los Angeles Times and the Black Coaches Association, and her induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.  She joined fellow esteemed basketball greats Michael Jordan, David Robinson, John Stockton and Jerry Sloan on the stage at Symphony Hall to receive basketball’s ultimate honor. One of her most personally-gratifying accolades is the 1993 Carol Eckman Award, which acknowledges the coach most demonstrating spirit, courage, integrity, commitment, leadership and service to the game of women’s basketball.

Related Videos

Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg
Iconic Fashion Designer

Diane Halfin, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, was just out of school and already working when she married into the House of Furstenberg in 1969. Not content to idle as Prince...

Sheryl WuDunn
Sheryl WuDunn
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

Sheryl WuDunn is a business executive, best-selling author, journalist, and international women’s rights advocate. In 1989, she became the first Asian American to win a Pulit...

Sherry Lansing
Sherry Lansing
Pioneer Studio Executive & Philanthropist

Sherry Lansing was a trailblazer, visionary, and leader in the motion picture business for almost 30 years and involved in the production, marketing, and distribution of more than ...

Nancy Lublin
Nancy Lublin
Social Entrepreneur

With a $5,000 inheritance, Nancy Lublin has been able to change countless lives. In 1995, she founded Dress for Success, a non-profit organization that promotes the economic indepe...