Gene Stephenson
Biographical details
Born (1945-08-31) August 31, 1945 (age 77)
Council Grove, Kansas, U.S.
Playing career
Position(s)First baseman
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1969Missouri (assistant)
1973–1977Oklahoma (assistant)
1978–2013Wichita State
Accomplishments and honors
College Baseball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2014

Gene Stephenson (born August 31, 1945)[1] is an American retired college baseball coach, who served as the head baseball coach at Wichita State from 1978 to 2013.


When he arrived at Wichita State, he inherited a program that had been dormant for over seven years. In his first year, despite not playing a home game until their 18th game, his Shockers finished with a winning record. In his third year, they made the first NCAA tournament appearance in school history, and in his fifth they advanced all the way to the title game. The team, with four first team All-Americans (seven overall), lost to Miami. This was all the more remarkable considering that until 1984, they played at a bare-bones stadium with only a tiny bleacher section for seating. The momentum from their 1982 title game appearance helped spearhead the building of a permanent facility, Eck Stadium, in 1985.

Under his leadership, the Shockers made seven College World Series and 26 NCAA tournament appearances, including 14 straight from 1987 to 2000. His teams never had a losing season. His 1982 team went 73–14, establishing an NCAA record for single-season wins.[2] Stephenson won his first CWS championship in 1989; also in 1989, the Shockers won 24 consecutive games.

Prior to coaching at WSU, he served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma. During that tenure, the Sooners won five league championships, and went to five College World Series.

For most of the day on July 10, 2005, Stephenson was the head coach of Oklahoma. Several hours after accepting the job, however, Stephenson decided to remain at Wichita State, reportedly due to scholarship issues at Oklahoma.[3]

After 36 years, Stephenson was fired on June 4, 2013.[4][5][6][7]

Personal life

Born in Council Grove, Kansas; Gene attended Guthrie High School, Guthrie, Oklahoma, then attended the University of Missouri with his first year on a football scholarship. He had better luck playing baseball, however; as a first baseman under legendary coach Hi Simmons, he was an All-American in 1967. Stephenson served a three-year stint in the United States Army, spending one year in Vietnam. Gene has two children, Jay and Ginny.[8]

His younger brother is Phil Stephenson, who played under him from 1980 to 1983. Gene and Phil were inducted into the Guthrie High School Hall of Fame in 1994. Gene was a first team all-state honoree in football and baseball in his senior year.[8]

Head coaching record

The following is a table of Stephenson's yearly records as an NCAA head baseball coach.[9][10]

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Wichita State Shockers (Missouri Valley Conference) (1978–2013)
1978 Wichita State 43–30–1
1979 Wichita State 65–15 10–2
1980 Wichita State 53–12–1 7–1 NCAA Regional
1981 Wichita State 56–15 15–1 1st (West) NCAA Regional
1982 Wichita State 73–14 15–1 1st (West) College World Series Runner-up
1983 Wichita State 55–18 7–1 1st (West) NCAA Regional
1984 Wichita State 40–22 7–7 4th
1985 Wichita State 68–20 15–5 1st NCAA Regional
1986 Wichita State 45–18 12–8 2nd
1987 Wichita State 59–20 13–7 1st NCAA Regional
1988 Wichita State 56–16–1 16–4 1st College World Series
1989 Wichita State 68–15 13–5 1st College World Series champions
1990 Wichita State 45–19 14–6 T–1st NCAA Regional
1991 Wichita State 66–13 21–3 1st College World Series Runner-up
1992 Wichita State 56–11 18–3 1st College World Series
1993 Wichita State 58–17 17–3 1st College World Series Runner-up
1994 Wichita State 45–17 19–2 1st NCAA Regional
1995 Wichita State 53–17 24–8 1st NCAA Regional
1996 Wichita State 54–11 24–4 1st College World Series
1997 Wichita State 51–18 21–7 1st NCAA Regional
1998 Wichita State 56–7 26–1 1st NCAA Regional
1999 Wichita State 59–14 24–7 1st NCAA Regional
2000 Wichita State 44–21 24–8 1st NCAA Regional
2001 Wichita State 42–24 21–11 2nd
2002 Wichita State 47–17 23–9 1st NCAA Regional
2003 Wichita State 49–27 19–13 2nd NCAA Regional
2004 Wichita State 49–16 28–4 1st NCAA Regional
2005 Wichita State 51–24 16–8 2nd NCAA Regional
2006 Wichita State 46–22 15–9 3rd NCAA Regional
2007 Wichita State 53–22 20–4 1st NCAA Super Regional
2008 Wichita State 48–17 19–5 1st NCAA Super Regional
2009 Wichita State 30–27 11–7 3rd NCAA Regional
2010 Wichita State 41–19 15–6 t-1st
2011 Wichita State 39–26 14–7 2nd
2012 Wichita State 35–25 12–9 3rd
2013 Wichita State 39–28 15–6 2nd NCAA Regional
Wichita State: 1837–675–3 (.731) 590–192 (.754)[a]
Total: 1837–675–3 (.731)

      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

See also


  1. ^ Incomplete (records unavailable for 1978)


  1. ^ "NCAA® Career Statistics".
  2. ^ "The History of Shocker Baseball" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  3. ^ Kimmey, Will (12 July 2005). "True Shocker: Stephenson returns to Wichita State". Baseball America. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  4. ^ Chronicling 36 years with Gene Stephenson at Wichita State; The Wichita Eagle; June 4, 2013.
  5. ^ Sexton says Stephenson’s 36-year tenure could’ve ended differently; The Wichita Eagle; June 4, 2013.
  6. ^ "Sources: Wichita State's Gene Stephenson given choice of his exit as baseball coach; The Wichita Eagle; June 3, 2013". Archived from the original on June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  7. ^ "Bob Lutz: Stephenson has final chance to protect legacy; The Wichita Eagle; June 3, 2013". Archived from the original on June 9, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Gene Stephenson Official Biography; Wichita State University". Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
  9. ^ "History & Records" (PDF). 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Media Guide. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  10. ^ "History" (PDF). Wichita State Shockers Baseball Media Guide. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013.