C. Vivian Stringer became the Big Ten’s all-time winningest basketball coach with 177 victories.


With the Scarlet Knights women’s basketball team’s 46–43 victory over the University of Nebraska in early February, head coach  C. Vivian Stringer became the Big Ten’s all-time winningest basketball coach with 177 victories. Stringer also led the team to a  first-round victory over Seton Hall University, 79–66, in the NCAA tournament.

courtesy of Rutgers Athletics Communications/Ben Solomon

Scarlet Knights teams found mixed success in their new, highly competitive Big Ten Conference. The nationally ranked women’s basketball team enjoyed a winning debut season, posting a record of 23-10, with a conference mark of 12-6 that tied them with Northwestern for fourth place. In the NCAA tournament, eighth-seeded Rutgers defeated ninth-seeded Seton Hall, 79–66, in the first round and fell to top-seeded UConn, 91–55, in  the second round. Head coach C. Vivian Stringer became the Big Ten’s all-time winningest basketball coach with a total of 177 league victories. Forward Betnijah Laney SAS’15 was selected by the Chicago Sky in the WNBA draft, the 17th draftee for Rutgers.

Rutgers wrestling (ranked No. 21 in the USA Today and NWCA Division I Coaches Poll) ended the season with record attendance and a 14-7, 2-7 Big Ten record, finishing 11th in their first Big Ten Championships.

The Scarlet Knights gymnastics team finished fourth in the first session of the Big Ten Championships. 

Scarlet Knights softball made history by compiling the most runs in a single game since 1977 with a thrilling 22–17 victory over Michigan State in a windy Big Ten home game. Behind centerfielder Jackie Bates’s SEBS’15 10th home run of the season and career-high eight RBIs, Rutgers prevailed after  surrendering a 16-run inning  and rallying from an eight-run deficit for the win.

Academically, there were  winners all around: 12 represen­tatives from swimming and diving, eight from gymnastics, six from wrestling, and two from both men’s and women’s basketball made the Winter 2015 Academic All-Big Ten list. Defensive lineman Dave Milewski RBS’14 received a $7,500 scholarship  for postgraduate study from  the NCAA and made the Capital One Academic All-American first team. Milewski is the second football player to earn first-team Academic All-American honors, joining Nate Jones RC’04, RBS’04. Rutgers Athletics now boasts 22 Academic All-American selections overall. As a junior, women’s soccer’s Margaret Morash, a 4.0-grade-point-average genetics major, earned a Goldwater Scholarship. The back-line starter achieved academic all-conference distinctions in each of her three years.

Teammate Casey Murphy made the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team. The Big Ten All-Freshman Team goalkeeper posted a 0.64 GAA, .829 save  percentage, 63 saves, and 10 shutouts while allowing 13 goals in 20 games. Among true freshmen last season, Murphy notched the second-best GAA, which overall ranked 21st nationally. She also allowed the second-fewest goals and posted the third-best save percentage of any first-year goalie in Rutgers history.

The Eastern College Athletic Conference presented a Coaching Excellence Award to Tom Young, the winningest coach in Rutgers men’s basketball history (.671). His teams went 239-117 from 1973–1985. In 1975–76, Young led the Scarlet Knights to a perfect season and a trip to the Final Four.

Men’s lacrosse alumnus Rick Mercurio was inducted into the Long Island Metropolitan Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame. Mercurio RC’75 appeared on three Scarlet Knights NCAA tournament teams and earned the Eastern College Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete Award.

— Karen Imperiale RC’79, SCILS’81