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Bentley Names Basketball Court in Honor of Hall of Fame Coach Barbara Stevens
Bentley University is naming the basketball court at the Dana Athletic Center in honor of women’s basketball Coach Barbara Stevens, who recently became the fifth women’s coach in NCAA history to surpass 1,000 career wins. Stevens has coached at Bentley for 32 years, leading the team to the NCAA Division II national championship in 2014 and, this season, to its record 34th NCAA tournament appearance.
“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,” said Bentley President Gloria Cordes Larson. “I am excited to recognize Coach Stevens’ accomplishments with an honor that will last forever. Now, and long into the future, the court on which our varsity women (and men) play basketball will be known as the Barbara Stevens Court.”
Bentley’s women’s basketball team recently won its 20th Northeast 10 Conference championship, and tomorrow the team will take on Jefferson in the 2018 NCAA tournament.
“When President Larson informed me of this honor, I was stunned and absolutely speechless,” said Stevens. “I am tremendously humbled and have no words to adequately express what this means. I want to thank Bentley for allowing me to be their women's basketball coach for the past 32 years. This honor must be shared with all the Bentley players and assistant coaches who gave so much to this program.”
Stevens has been a leader and role model for coaches across the country, Larson said, and especially for the Bentley students whom she has coached. “She has been a mentor and a friend to 128 women who have had the honor to don the Bentley uniform over the past 32 years,” Larson said.
Bentley student-athletes have a record of success both outside and inside the classroom. Recently, the NCAA recognized Bentley’s student-athletes as having the highest graduation rate in the country, at 98 percent along with two other institutions. Bentley also received a “Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence” from the NCAA for having a four-year Academic Success Rate of 90 or better.
Athletics is an important part of the student experience at Bentley, which recently opened the doors to a new, state-of-the-art multipurpose arena that will host the university’s NCAA Division I hockey team and prominent university events such as career fairs, high-profile speakers, alumni events and concerts.
Bentley was also named No. 1 for Highest Freshman Retention Rate, No. 3 for Most Innovative Schools and No. 4 for Best Undergraduate Teaching among the regional universities in the “2019 Best Colleges” report.