Scranton's Mike Strong first DIII coach to win 800

The Associated Press

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) -- Mike Strong of the University of Scranton became the first Division III women's coach to win 800 games as Scranton beat Juniata 75-57 on Saturday.

He has coached Scranton for the past 34 years and is the 10th women's coach in all NCAA divisions to reach the milestone, joining the likes of Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma.

''It's a little bit of relief, and I'm grateful for the opportunity today,'' Strong told the school's website. ''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.''

More than 30 of his former players were in attendance at the game.

He becomes the second coach in all of NCAA Division III to reach 800 career victories, joining Franklin & Marshall men's coach Glenn Robinson, who has 862 wins.

Strong has guided Scranton to 18 conference titles, eight Final Four appearances and the 1985 national championship.

Scranton (11-2, 3-0 Landmark) jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first half. Juniata (7-6, 0-2 Landmark) cut the deficit to six at the half, but the Lady Royals immediately pushed the lead back to double figures early in the second half.

''I knew people were applauding me or the situation, and I just wanted to relish this moment,'' Strong said. ''I don't know how much longer I'll be coaching, so it's a fitting tribute to do it when so many people are back today.''