Barbara Stevens
Biographical details
Born (1954-09-20) September 20, 1954 (age 69)
Southbridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Playing career
1972–1976Bridgewater State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1976–1977Clark (MA) (assistant)
1977–1983Clark (MA)
Head coaching record
Overall1039–282 (.787)
Accomplishments and honors
NCAA Division II National (2014)
17 NE-10 regular season (1988–1994, 1996–2001, 2003, 2011–2013)
4 NE-10 Northeast division (2014, 2016, 2017, 2019)
17 NE-10 Tournament (1990, 1992–1994, 1996, 1998–2001, 2003, 2005, 2011–2014, 2016, 2018)
WBCA National Division II Coach of the Year (1992, 1999, 2001, 2013, 2014)
16× NE-10 Coach of the Year (1988, 1989, 1991–1993, 1996–2001, 2003, 2011, 2014, 2017, 2019)
Carol Eckman Award (2002)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2020 (profile)
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Barbara Stevens (born September 20, 1954)[1] is the former head coach of the Bentley University women's basketball team. Stevens had previously served as head basketball coach for Clark University and Massachusetts. Stevens was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. She was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.[2]

In January 2018, Stevens became the fifth women's basketball coach to reach the 1,000 win milestone. Bentley defeated Adelphi University 78–66. Bentley had lost to Adelphi in their last four meetings.[3][4]

High school

Stevens attended two high schools, Marianhill Central Catholic High School in Southbridge, Massachusetts, then Saint Peter-Marian High School in Worcester, Massachusetts. She played sports, but noted in an article about the history of Title IX, at the time "it was almost embarrassing sometimes to be known as a female athlete".[5]


Stevens attended college at Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, graduating in 1976.[1] She played on the school basketball team as a point guard, and was named captain. She noted about the experience, "Those of us who were interested in sports did play, but in front of very few people and with very little fanfare and very little notice. How we practiced, the amount of time and what we did to get ready for season are just so different now."[6] In addition to basketball, she also played on the softball team for two years and on the tennis team for two years where she was also named captain.[7]

Coaching career

Stevens started her coaching career as an assistant coach at Clark University in 1976. The school was not known as a solid basketball team but she helped the team win the Massachusetts Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (MAIAW) Division III State Championship. The team record was 14–5. Stevens was named as head coach the following year. She remained the head coach at Clark for six seasons with three MAIAW titles and five postseason appearances. Twice, the team reached the NCAA Division III Final Four.[6] In her final year at Clark she was named the WBCA coach of the year for district 1.[7]

She took over the head coaching duties at Massachusetts in 1983, inheriting a team that had a record of 5-22 in the prior year. Under Stevens leadership, the team improved to 10–17, but they were unable to reach the .500 mark.[8] Despite the modest record, her skills as a coach were recognized. In her final year at Massachusetts, her team played Connecticut, which at the time was not a recognized basketball power. They were coached by Geno Auriemma, who would go on to be named to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the Basketball Hall of Fame, and twice named as the Olympic coach, but at the time he was in his first year as a coach. It was his seventh game as a coach. He noted that Massachusetts had beaten UConn the previous year and they were leading by substantial margin in this game. Then he noticed "something clicked" and the players began applying what they had learned in practice. UConn ended up winning the game 62–59; Auriemma rates it as one of his favorite memories and said of UMass, "they are a good team, well coached by Barbara Stevens. She's great."[9][page needed]

Stevens came to Bentley in 1986. Her first year was a good year as the team achieved a record of 24–5. In her second year the team won 28 games. In 1988, her teams started a five-year string of 30 or more victories each year.[10]

In 2014, the team went undefeated with a 35–0 record. Bentley reached the national championship game against West Texas A&M. With under six minutes remaining, the team was losing by nine points. One of the players asked the coach if they could go into their full-court pressure defense. Three of the players had four fouls, making such a tactic dangerous but they implemented the press and it was effective. Late in the game, Lauren Battista scored a three-pointer to put the Falcons ahead, then stole the inbounds pass and scored to give Bentley a 65–61 lead to put them ahead for good. The win gave Stevens her first national championship.[11]

Stevens Court

In March 2018, Bentley University made the decision to name the basketball court in the Dana Athletic Center after Stevens. At the naming ceremony, the president of the University, Gloria Cordes Larson said, "Coach Stevens has arguably become one of the top five coaches in the history of all women’s basketball -- and certainly the best ever in NCAA Division II. It’s hard to imagine that anyone will ever come close to replicating the success she and her program have achieved."[12]

Head coaching record


Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Clark Cougars () (1977–1983)
1977–78 Clark 18–3
1978–79 Clark 23–5
1979–80 Clark 21–8
1980–81 Clark 18–11
1981–82 Clark 22–7
1982–83 Clark 21–8
Clark: 123–42 (.759)
Massachusetts Minutewomen (Atlantic Ten) (1983–1986)
1983–84 Massachusetts 10–17 3–5 T 6th
1984–85 Massachusetts 13–15 2–6 T 6th
1985–86 Massachusetts 11–17 4–12 T 7th
Massachusetts: 34–49 (.410) 9–23 (.281)
Bentley Falcons (Northeast–10) (1986–2020)
1986–87 Bentley 24–5 11–3 2nd
1987–88 Bentley 28–4 17–1 1st NCAA DII Regional first round
1988–89 Bentley 31–3 18–0 1st NCAA DII DII National Final Four
1989–90 Bentley 31–4 17–1 1st NCAA DII National Runnerup
1990–91 Bentley 33–3 18–0 1st NCAA DII National Final Four
1991–92 Bentley 31–2 18–0 1st NCAA DII National Final Four
1992–93 Bentley 30–4 16–2 1st NCAA DII National Final Four
1993–94 Bentley 25–6 16–2 T1st NCAA DII Regional finals
1994–95 Bentley 22–8 14–4 3rd NCAA DII Regional semifinals
1995–96 Bentley 28–3 14–2 T1st NCAA DII Elite Eight
1996–97 Bentley 27–7 17–1 1st NCAA DII National Final Four
1997–98 Bentley 30–2 19–1 1st NCAA DII Elite Eight
1998–99 Bentley 32–3 18–0 1st NCAA DII Elite Eight
1999–00 Bentley 27–4 16–2 1st NCAA DII Regional finals
2000–01 Bentley 31–3 22–0 1st NCAA DII Regional finals
2001–02 Bentley 20–9 16–6 3rd NCAA DII Regional semifinals
2002–03 Bentley 33–3 22–0 1st NCAA DII National Final Four
2003–04 Bentley 23–8 18–4 2nd NCAA DII Regional first round
2004–05 Bentley 28–8 17–5 3rd NCAA DII Regional finals
2005–06 Bentley 20–13 14–8 5th
2006–07 Bentley 23–8 11–3 T2nd NCAA DII Regional finals
2007–08 Bentley 19–11 15–7 T3rd NCAA DII Regional first round
2008–09 Bentley 21–12 15–7 T2nd NCAA DII Regional first round
2009–10 Bentley 19–11 16–6 T3rd NCAA DII Regional first round
2010–11 Bentley 28–5 19–3 1st NCAA DII Elite Eight
2011–12 Bentley 31–4 20–2 1st NCAA DII National Final Four
2012–13 Bentley 30–2 21–1 1st NCAA DII Regional Finals
2013–14 Bentley 35–0 21–0 1st NCAA DII National Champions
2014–15 Bentley 11–16 6–15 7th
2015–16 Bentley 29–6 16–5 1st NCAA DII National Final Four
2016–17 Bentley 26–6 20–1 1st NCAA DII Regional first round
2017–18 Bentley 28–4 18–3 1st NCAA Div II East Region semifinal
2018–19 Bentley 28–4 20–1 1st NCAA Div II East Region first round
2019–20 Bentley 19–9 14–5 3rd
Bentley: 901–200 (.818) 570–101 (.849)
Total: 1058–291 (.784)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Awards and honors


  1. ^ a b "Women's Basketball Coaches Career". NCAA. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Basketball Hall of Fame set to announce 2020 class". Associated Press. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  3. ^ "Stevens fifth women's coach to reach 1K wins". Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  4. ^ "No. 7 Bentley Hosts Adelphi Wednesday, Looking to Elevate Stevens into 1,000-Win Club". Bentley. 2018-01-15. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  5. ^ Farley, Glen (Jun 21, 2012). "Buoyed by Title IX, Women's College Sports Have Come a Long Way". Retrieved 18 Sep 2015.
  6. ^ a b Skaine 2001, p. 143
  7. ^ a b c "Bentley's Stevens to be Inducted into Clark University Hall of Fame". Sep 15, 2006. Retrieved 18 Sep 2015.
  8. ^ "Archives Yearly Results". Retrieved 18 Sep 2015.
  9. ^ Auriemma & MacMullan 2006.
  10. ^ a b "Barbara Stevens". Retrieved 18 Sep 2015.
  11. ^ Megliola, Lenny (April 3, 2014). "An unforgettable finish for Bentley women's basketball". Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 Sep 2015.
  12. ^ "Bentley Names Basketball Court in Honor of Hall of Fame Coach Barbara Stevens". Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  13. ^ "2014-15 Women's Basketball Media Guide". Retrieved 18 Sep 2015.
  14. ^ "Northeast-10 record book". Retrieved 18 Sep 2015.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Past WBCA National Coaches of the Year". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 18 Sep 2015.
  16. ^ "Inductees". Retrieved 18 Sep 2015.[permanent dead link]