Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer will remain on sick leave for the remainder of the season, the school announced Thursday.

The Hall of Fame coach has been on leave since Feb. 24 due to a battle with exhaustion. Rutgers said that Stringer's doctors recommended that she not return this season.

Assistant coach Tim Eatman is 4-1 in place of Stringer and he will remain as the interim leader for the rest of the season. Rutgers (22-9) is in position to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

"The invitation to play in the NCAA tournament is a crowning achievement for any team," Stringer said in a statement released through the school. "It speaks to the great effort on the part of our players and we are certainly hopeful that they will be rewarded on Monday.

"I am truly disappointed that I will not be able to join them, but I need to listen to my doctors. Being away from my team has been more difficult than I could have imagined, but thankfully they are under the great care of Tim Eatman and my assistants. I wish everyone the best and I will be cheering every step of the way."

Stringer, who turns 71 on Saturday, is in her 24th season at Rutgers. Earlier this season, she earned her 1,000th career win to join Pat Summitt, Geno Auriemma, Sylvia Hatchell and Tara VanDerveer as the only NCAA Division I women's coaches to reach that milestone.

In 2009, she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

"As I stated prior, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our people," athletic director Pat Hobbs said in a statement. "We look forward to Coach Stringer continuing her Hall of Fame career and making a positive impact upon the lives of our student-athletes."

--Field Level Media

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