Barbara Stevens: Thousand Time Victor

Barbara Stevens is the girls’ basketball coach at Bentley University, and now has 1,000 victories to her name in her career of coaching basketball.

AJ Freithoffer, Managing Editor, Sports Editor

Barbara Stevens has been at Bentley University for 32 years now, and hopes to continue coaching there. Her first head coaching job was in 1977 at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, until she moved on to coach for Bentley and decided to stay. According to the New York Times, “Stevens has had professional relationships and friendships with those coaches who have name recognition in women’s basketball, people like Muffet Mcgraw who is the head coach for Notre Dame since 1987  as well as the four others who are members of the 1,000-victory club.” These coaches are the Tennessee legend Pat Summitt, Sylvia Hatchell of North Carolina, Tara VanDerveer of Stanford, and, most notably, Geno Auriemma at Connecticut, with whom Stevens coached at USA Basketball camps in the early 1990s.

All of those coaches are Division I coaches, but Stevens is the only Division II coach to have been president of the Woman’s Basketball Association in 1984-1985. While Stevens was at Massachusetts, she coached against McGraw, who is the head coach in Lehigh, a Division I team, against Stevens’ Division II team. No one at Bentley ever suspected that Stevens could turn their team into as excellent a team as it is going into the Division II bracket. She has done great things with the program, and she is hoping to stay there to help the team improve even more, according to the New York Times. Her career at Bentley University has lasted for more than three decades; her presences has helped to “attract really good student athletes [at Bentley who are] smart, motivated…” and are the reason why Stevens is still coaching, as she stated in an interview with New York Times. Her skills and athletes have allowed her to attend 29 NCAA tournaments, and earn a total winning percentage of 80 percent, 14 regional titles, a dozen 30 win seasons, and participation in ten semifinals. In 2006, she was elected to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, as stated in New York Times.

For being a Division II team, Bentley can offer a lot of scholarships, but most students who get the chance to go to that school will not attend because they have gotten acceptance letters from many more Division I schools that they would rather attend. While coaching for as long as Stevens has, her reputation is stirring up success, her program is a great place for quality high school players. Christiana Bakolas, who is Stevens’ associate head coach, played for Stevens as a point guard and a captain of the 2014 title team. On Jan. 17, Barbara Stevens got her 1,000th victory, which is something she has been working towards for an extremely long time now.  The game was against Adelphi that ended in a 78-66 win, and everyone in the stands started cheering Steven’s name along with her players dumping a barrel of confetti on her. She later talked about sacrifice and the sacrifices she had to take to be able to coach her team to be able to get to where she is at now. Stevens, a single woman of 63, looked around after this victory and saw all of these Massachusetts news reporters surrounding her and looked at her players, current and former. This countdown to 1,000 started when Stevens was barely out of college and it was a long and hard road, but she was committed to getting to the day and it finally happened.

Barbara Stevens is a great coach that will continue to work hard to coach at Bentley to make the team even better with new players coming to her team every year.