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Scranton Athletics | January 11, 2014

Strong earns 800 career wins, first coach in DIII to milestone

SCRANTON, Pa. -- In a career full of sometimes thrilling, often entertaining and occasionally record-breaking victories, the 800th of Mike Strong's storied career was one of the more anticlimactic ones.

Strong became the first head coach in NCAA Division III women's basketball history to reach 800 career victories as his Scranton Lady Royals pulled away early to defeat Juniata 75-57 on Saturday in the John Long Center.

Strong becomes the second coach in all of NCAA Division III to reach 800 career victories, joining Franklin & Marshall men's coach Glenn Robinson, who entered Saturday with 861 career victories.

He is also the 10th women's basketball coach in all NCAA Divisions to reach 800 career victories, joining a list that includes former Tennessee head coach Pat Summit, current Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, current Rutgers head coach Vivian Stringer and current North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell.

Fittingly, Strong earned career win no. 800 on Scranton basketball alumni weekend, with more than 30 former Lady Royals in the stands. That made the man who has led Scranton women's basketball for the past 34 years even more proud.

"It's a little bit of relief, and I'm grateful for the opportunity today," Strong said. "It wasn't a secret that this might happen and there are so many people who played a part in this. I'm just glad we got it at home and on alumni day."