WALTHAM, Mass. – Legendary Bentley University women's basketball coach Barbara Stevens has been named the 2016-17 Division II East Region Coach of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, the 11th time in her 31 seasons on the Bentley bench she's earned the recognition.
As a result of gaining region accolades, Stevens was one of the finalists for the United States Marine Corps/WBCA National Division II Coach of the Year, which went to Ashland University's Robyn Fralick. Fralick's team carried a perfect 34-0 record into this week's Elite Eight in Columbus, Ohio.
Stevens, who was previously recognized as the Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year for the 15th time, led the 2016-17 Falcons to a 26-6 record, the NE10 Northeast Division regular season title, a berth in the conference championship game and a Division II record 33rd NCAA tournament berth.
Stevens' 40th season as a head coach included a 14-game winning streak and a number 14 ranking in the most recent WBCA Division II national coaches poll. The Falcons, whose season came to an end in the opening round of the NCAA East Regional, recorded their 32nd 20-win season and reached the 25-win milestone for the 23rd time in the program's storied history.
The Women's Basketball Hall of Famer finished the season as the number five winningest coach in NCAA women's basketball history, her record of 983-274 including 826-183 during her Bentley tenure.
Stevens previously was the regional coach of the year annually from 1991-93, again from 1999-2001, in 2003 and most recently, three straight times from 2012-14. She owns five National Coach of the Year awards, the most recent coming in 2014 when she guided the Falcons to a 35-0 season and the NCAA Division II national championship.
The other finalists for the Coach of the Year award were Jessica Strom (California, Pa.), Krystal Evans (Lincoln Memorial), Paul Honsinger (Eckerd), Jim Turgeon (Colorado State-Pueblo), Lane Lord (Pittsburg State) and Ryan McCarthy (Alaska-Anchorage).