Top active Rutgers athletics figuresPhoto by The Daily Targum C. Vivian Stringer is a noteworthy Rutgers athletics figure and has taken three schools to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four.
Before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic interrupted hundreds of Scarlet Knight careers, some coaches and student-athletes flourished as noteworthy sports stars on the Banks.
Head women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer
Over 49 seasons, Stringer has compiled a 1,041-421 record, with a 521-286 mark coaching the Rutgers women’s basketball team. She has taken three schools to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four, with 27 total Tournament appearances.
Stringer ranks fifth all-time in career wins among women’s basketball head coaches and earned an induction to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
“I am here, perhaps, (due to) the wins that we’ve had,” she said at her induction, according to NJ Advance Media. “But the truth of the matter is that the reason I continue to coach is because I’m trying to create young women who are leaders and role models.”
Head football coach Greg Schiano
Accepting the head coach position of the Rutgers football team after the 2000 season, Schiano led the program to a successful 11-year stretch. After compiling a 37-72 record in the previous 10 years, the Knights went 68-67 from 2001-11, with a 56-33 mark the last seven seasons of his first stint on the Banks.
Rutgers earned six bowl game appearances with five wins under Schiano.
After pursuing other coaching opportunities from 2012-19, he was rehired in December, as previously reported on by The Daily Targum.
“I arrived here in 2000 with the goal to build a program that would be a source of pride for the state of New Jersey and develop great young men," he said. "I look forward to embracing that challenge once again. This is a great opportunity for all of Rutgers to pull together to get us back to where we all know we belong.”
Senior guard Geo Baker
Accumulating 1,041 points, 309 assists, 117 steals and 148 three-pointers over his three-year career with the Rutgers men’s basketball team, good enough for 41st, 14th, 17th and 11th on the Knights’ all-time lists, respectively, Baker has performed well wearing the scarlet and white. Perhaps what has attracted the most attention, though, is his ability to provide clutch shooting.
During last season’s campaign, Baker stepped up for Rutgers when needed, nailing a game-winning three-pointer against Nebraska, tallying 23 points after halftime facing Northwestern and sinking a game-tying basket at Purdue in the Knights’ last regular-season contest, as reported on by the Targum.
“It’s amazing. It’s not even really putting the team on my back. That’s my role. Everyone has a role on this team and my role is to get the ball at the end of the game and make a play. I’m very comfortable in that role, win or lose. I want that. I want the ball at the end of the game,” Baker said, when asked about his performance against the Boilermakers.
Senior Christopher Gotterup
Since Gotterup arrived on the Banks in 2017, he has earned a slew of awards and broke several Rutgers men’s golf records. Along with being named the 2019 New Jersey State Golf Association Amateur Player of the Year and the 2019 Metropolitan Golf Association Jerry Courville Sr. Player of the Year, he was also selected as the 2019-20 Big Ten Player of the Year and as a 2020 Arnold Palmer Cup finalist.
Gotterup holds the Knights records in scoring average, par 3 scoring, par 4 scoring and par 5 scoring.
“The sky is the limit,” said head men’s golf coach Rob Shutte, regarding Gotterup, according to NJ Advance Media.
Fifth-year senior guard Arella Guirantes
Despite her career with the Rutgers women’s basketball team being more abbreviated than others', as she began playing as a redshirt sophomore for the 2018-19 season, Guirantes has garnered national attention for her skill.
After earning an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention recognition in 2019, she was selected to the All-Big Ten First Team and collected three All-America honors last season. Her 20.6 points per game mark last year was the best in the Big Ten and good for ninth in the nation.
In April, Guirantes announced her decision to forgo the WNBA draft, in which she was projected in multiple mock drafts as a first or second-round pick.
“I have my goals written down, and I didn’t write them down for nothing," Guirantes said. "I want to be the Big Ten Player of the Year, a First Team All-American and win a championship with Rutgers basketball.”