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Rutgers’ Vivian Stringer to extend leave of absence through 2021-22


Rutgers’ women’s basketball coach Vivian Stringer is extending her leave of absence through the end of the 2021-22 season, the school announced Monday.

In her place, associate head coach Timothy Eatman will continue as acting head coach.

Stringer stepped away from the program in April 2021 after signing a five-year extension. In February, she voiced her concern over Coronavirus after Rutgers returned from a six-week pause for the virus.

“This COVID situation is for real and we have to be very careful and treat it with great respect,” she said at the time.

At Big Ten media day last month, team spokesman Matt Choquette said Stringer was worried about the lack of testing this season in comparison with last season. Reportedly, Stringer is also worried about the highly contagious nature of the variants and her desire to prevent transmittance to her 40-year-old daughter, who is of high-risk and requires special care after contracting spinal meningitis at age two.

Stringer has had an extensive coaching career in the college space, having coached for 50 years and amassed 1,055 wins — fourth all time in Division I.

Last season saw the Scarlet Knights finish 14-5 and lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament to BYU.

Rutgers will open the season on Tuesday against Saint Peter’s.