BOSTON (AP) — Longtime Bentley University women’s basketball coach Barbara Stevens is retiring after a four-decade run that included more than 1,000 wins, the 2014 NCAA Division II national championship, and recent election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The 65-year-old coach made the announcement Tuesday, ending a 34-year stint at Bentley in which she compiled a 901-200 record, made 31 Division II tournament appearances and 14 in regional championships. Her retirement will become effective on July 31.
“This is a bittersweet time for me,” Stevens in a statement. “I am stepping away from a profession that has been my life’s work and passion for 44 years.”
Stevens retires as the fourth-winningest coach in NCAA women’s basketball history with a 1,058-291 career record. She trails only Pat Summitt (1,098), Tara VanDerveer (1,094) and Geno Auriemma (1,091) in career victories.
She became the first non-Division I women’s basketball coach, and the fifth overall, to reach the 1,000-win milestone, with Bentley’s 78-66 home victory over Adelphi University on Jan. 17, 2018.
“You look at all those coaches. They are huge names in the sport,” Stevens told The Associated Press the day before earning that win. “I don’t see the connection with me and them. I found my niche and I don’t need any limelight. I don’t need anything like that. What I’m trying to do in a small way is create a program that can be successful and that’s it.”
A point guard and team captain at Bridgewater State from 1972-76, Stevens became coach at Bentley in 1986, following seven years at Clark University (six as the head coach) and three at UMass.
Stevens was one of three women elected to the 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame class in April, joining Tamika Catchings and fellow coach Kim Mulkey.
The enshrinement was originally scheduled for August, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic will be held later.
Stevens has previously been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as the Bentley University, Clark University, Bridgewater State and New England Basketball halls.