Due to health reasons, head coach C. Vivian Stringer is taking a leave of absence from coaching the Rutgers women’s basketball team, the school announced on Sunday.
Assistant coach Timothy Eatman will take over head coaching duties of #RHoops for head coach C. Vivian Stringer, who is expected to return to the sidelines following the Big Ten Tournament.— Rutgers W.Basketball (@RutgersWBB) February 24, 2019
>> https://t.co/8RUdtaGpgb pic.twitter.com/IUNfUMXEAR
Stringer missed Thursday’s game at Michigan, which the team lost 86-76. Assistant coach Tim Eatman will take over the team as acting head coach with the hope of Stringer returning following the Big Ten Tournament. Hopefully, that will mean this season as Rutgers (18-8; 10-5) is in third place in the Big Ten and currently projected to make the NCAA Tournament.
From the Rutgers press release:
“As you can imagine this was not an easy decision, however, in consultation with my doctors, it is in my best interest to spend time to get healthy before returning to the day-to-day grind of coaching,” said Stringer. “I would not be able to do this without the faith in my assistants Tim Eatman, Kelley Gibson and Nadine Domond to handle the program in my absence. I know our young ladies can finish the season strong playing Scarlet Knight basketball and I will rejoin the team as soon as I can. I would like to thank the many friends, fans and members of the Rutgers Athletics community that have sent me well wishes and I look forward to seeing you all soon.”
Stringer eclipsed the 1,000 victory mark for her career earlier this season.
Rutgers is already dealing with adversity with the recent dismissal of forward Caitlin Jenkins, which was announced after the Michigan loss on Thursday. They’ve gone 1-4 since her suspension was first announced.
UPDATE: It was reported on Monday that CC Cryor was also dismissed.
Eatman coached the team at Michigan this past week and also in 2016 when Stringer missed three games due to the passing of her mother.
Rutgers closes the regular season with three games this week: Monday at home against Wisconsin (13-14; 4-11), Thursday at home against Minnesota (19-8; 8-8), and Sunday at Ohio State (13-12; 9-7).