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Iowa History Daily: February 3 - C. Vivian Stringer's Hawks Crush NCAA WBB Attendance Record

Iowa History Daily: On February 3, 1985, C. Vivian Stringer’s Iowa Hawkeyes sold out Carver-Hawkeye Arena. A record-setting achievement showcasing Iowans' love for women’s basketball, the sensational crowd came together because of the rapid-rise Stringer brought to Iowa’s women’s basketball during the 1980s.

Taking over a dismal program which finished 7-20 the year prior, Stringer breathed new life in the hapless Hawkeye hoopers. During the first season under Stringer’s leadership the program posted a 17-10 record. By year two, the Hawkeyes proved ready to contend at a national level. 

In 1983, the Hawks proved poised for success and people took notice. When Ohio State came to Carver-Hawkeye in early February, a NCAA Division I campus record setting crowd of 22,157 more than filled the 15,500-seat arena. Although the Hawkeyes fell to the Buckeyes that day, the day represented a magic moment for women’s basketball in the state. Although the record eventually fell, Iowa recaptured the NCAA women’s basketball attendance record when 55,646 fans turned out to Kinnick stadium to watch the Hawks play in October of 2023.

Stringer went on to lead the Hawkeyes to six Big Ten Championships, nine NCAA tournament appearances, and the 1993 NCAA Final Four. Posting a 269-84 record at Iowa, Stringer’s teams won 79% of their Big Ten games, and boasted 10 consecutive 20 win seasons. In 2009, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inducted Stringer. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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