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Stevens Named IKON/WBCA Div. II National Coach of the Year

March 16, 1999

 

WALTHAM, Mass. Barbara Stevens, who has led her Bentley College Falcons into the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the fourth straight year, has been named the IKON/ Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division II National Coach of the Year. It's the second time in her illustrious career she's been so honored.

It's been quite a season for the Falcons, who enter today's national quarterfinal game with Emporia State sporting the most wins by any Division II team in the country (32, against only two losses) and a Division II-best 23-game winning streak. The only blemishes on the record were a one-point loss to sixth-ranked Francis Marion in the Disney Classic and 98-70 decision to North Dakota State Dec. 12.

Following that contest, Stevens and her club re-focused their attentions on the defensive end of the court, and those efforts have more than paid off. Bentley became just the second team in Northeast-10 Conference history to go through both the regular season conference schedule and NE-10 playoffs without losing a game. It was a feat last accomplished by the 1992 Falcons, which just happens to be the same year in which Stevens was previously recognized as the Division II Coach of the Year.

Bentley, ranked third nationally in the latest USA Today/WBCA Division II poll, earned a return trip to Pine Bluff, Ark. with victories over Saint Anselm (64-57) and second-ranked Saint Rose (54-48) in the NCAA Division II Northeast Regionals. The defense was at its best against previously once-beaten Saint Rose, holding the Golden Knights 38 points below their season norm on 29 percent shooting.

The team's success becomes even more remarkable when one considers that the top two scorers from last year's 30-2 were loss to graduation, including Kodak All-America Danielle Chaisson. It may have been Stevens' youngest Bentley team with the top nine including five sophomores and a pair of freshmen.

While Stevens prefers to focus on the team's success, it was also a season of milestones for her personally. The first came on Nov. 20 when she became the first women's basketball coach in New England history to reach the 500 career win plateau.

Two-and-a-half months, and 20 wins later, Stevens surpassed the late Darlene May of Cal Poly Pomona as the winningest women's basketball coach in Division II history. The nine-time Northeast-10 Coach of the Year enters the Elite Eight with a 22-year career mark of 529-144, including a remarkable 372-53 in 13 Bentley seasons.

Stevens will receive her award next Wednesday, Mar. 24, in San Jose, Cal. when the WBCA holds its annual IKON/WBCA Coach of the Year Banquet in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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