Brad Stevens has been on the Indianapolis basketball scene since he was a star at Zionsville High School in the mid 1990’s. He set the school scoring record for the Eagles, and then went on to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana where he was named an All-Conference performer as both a player and a student.
After graduating from college, Stevens took a job as a marketing associate for Eli Lilly, located in downtown Indianapolis. He also was a volunteer coach for Carmel High School for several years before joining the Butler staff as a volunteer assistant in 2000. When Head Coach Thad Matta left for Ohio State, Todd Lickliter, a former North Central player and coach of Danville High School, replaced him. He promoted Stevens to a full-time assistant coach position, and when Lickliter left for Iowa in 2007, Stevens became Butler’s Head Coach at the tender age of 31.
In his first season, Stevens became the third youngest coach to ever guide a team to 30 wins, which amazingly moved him into 7th place on Butler’s All-Time list for coaching victories. Although he only won 26 games in his second season, many in Indianapolis considered it to be an even finer coaching job on Stevens’ part.
His team entered the season with one returning starter and zero seniors. Nine freshman and sophomore’s (all players Stevens had helped to recruit) contributed to leading the Bulldogs – picked to finish fifth in the Horizon League during the preseason – to a league title and third straight NCAA tournament appearance. Former North Carolina coach Bill Guthridge is the only person in NCAA history to record more wins in his first two seasons than Stevens. For his efforts, he was awarded the Horizon League Coach of the Year plaque and the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year trophy.
Stevens enters the 2009 season with his Butler basketball team ranked #11 in the country, and his job secured through 2014-15. Not bad for someone who was punching a clock at Eli Lilly not even a decade ago.
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