Rutgers and women's basketball coach

C. Vivian Stringer

agreed to a multiyear contract extension late last night that will pay her the same base salary as Scarlet Knights football coach

Greg Schiano

, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Stringer led the Scarlet Knights to the NCAA Tournament championship game this season. They lost the final, 59-46, to Tennessee. She had 1 year remaining on her existing contract.

The 59-year-old Hall of Famer and with her agent, Dennis Coleman, met with Rutgers athletic director Robert Mulcahy yesterday to work on the deal.

Stringer will make $450,000 a year - the same amount as Schiano - and has yearly incentives that could extend the overall package to more than $900,000, said a person familiar with the deal who requested anonymity because a formal announcement had yet to be made.

Details of the contract are expected to be released today.

Schiano signed an extension in February with a total compensation package worth $1.5 million per year.

The deal will make Stringer one of the five highest-paid women's college basketball coaches in the country.

Stringer is 257-125 in 12 seasons at Rutgers. She led the Scarlet Knights to a 27-9 record last season and the school's first Big East Tournament championship. They had won the previous two regular-season conference titles, before finishing second this season. She has an overall record of 777-260, and ranks third in career victories among Division I women's college basketball coaches.

After the Scarlet Knights' surprising run to the Final Four, the team became the center of a national controversy when it was the object of an on-air slur by nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Don Imus.

Imus was fired for his comments, but Stringer and the team met with him and accepted his apology.

In other women's college basketball news:

* Lynn Milligan was named head coach at Rider. Milligan, an assistant at Saint Joseph's for the last 6 years, is a 1992 graduate of Rider.


* Wimbledon will be the richest Grand Slam in history, with both the female and male champion earning $1.4 million. The only Grand Slam tournament on grass will offer total prize money of $22,572,011, an increase of 8.7 percent.

* David Nalbandian and Tommy Robredo advanced to the third round of the Open Seat Godo in Barcelona, Spain, without 2000 champion Marat Safin, who lost. Simone Bolelli won four straight points in the second-set tiebreaker to stop Safin, 6-4, 7-6 (5).

Auto Racing

* Kentucky Speedway no longer wants NASCAR to bring a Nextel Cup race to the track as part of its antitrust lawsuit against the racing governing body and International Speedway Corp. The speedway filed an amended complaint in U.S. District Court last Friday, saying instead of a Nextel Cup race, it wants a judge to break up NASCAR and ISC, both of which are controlled by Bill France and members of his family. The lawsuit claims breaking up the monopoly would require NASCAR to "develop objective factors for the award of Nextel Cup races that benefit the sport." *