A new era has started for Rutgers women's basketball. On Tuesday, the school introduced former WNBA Champion and Penn State head coach Coquese Washington as the new head coach as she takes over for legendary coach C. Vivian Stringer. Players from Notre Dame, where she was an associate head coach, showed up to support Coquese and along with other Rutgers sports coaches. Coquese comes to the banks after a fantastic playing career and coaching experience.
"I am beyond thrilled with the opportunity to be here at Rutgers, a university that excels both academically and athletically," said Washington. "Following in the footsteps of Hall of Fame coaches Theresa Grentz and C. Vivian Stringer is a tremendous honor. They exemplify achieving high levels of excellence with grace, class, integrity and dignity. The way they blazed trails and impacted the lives of student-athletes and coaches, beyond the ones on their teams, is nothing short of amazing. Standing on their shoulders to guide this program is going to be a wonderful adventure, and our family is eager to get to Piscataway and become a part of this remarkable community."
Coquese Washington not looking to replace Stringer
Coquese said during the press conference that it would be hard replacing a legend like Stringer. She wants to continue building the right team and culture and continue the legacy for Rutgers women's basketball. The staff is extremely excited to have Washington on board as the new head coach of this team.
Coach Coquese spoke highly of Stringer as a true leader and a great person that makes everyone better. She said they were going to connect soon. It will be a lot of growing pains initially, but eventually, with the right players, she will lead this team in the right direction.
Coach Washington on the Current Roster
Coquese said she can't speak on the roster right now because of graduation and the transfer portal. She is looking forward to recruiting those players in the transfer portal to stay here. She is expected to hit the ground running, reaching out to the potential players that might come to Rutgers. Washinton wants a team that will compete, win the right way, have high character players on/off the court, and is prominent in the community. After watching the young talent growing locally here, she already knows about recruiting in New Jersey.
R new coach!
— Rutgers Scarlet Knights (@RUAthletics) May 24, 2022
Congratulations for Coach Washington
Washington said she is grateful for how many people reached out after Rutgers hired her. The Washington family was also in attendance with her kids and husband. She has learned a lot from coaching at Penn State and Notre Dame to prepare her for this incredible opportunity. Rutgers made the right hire, and fans should be pumped up about it.