The man who put the major in mid-major has landed another major award.
Brad Stevens, who coached tiny (undergraduate enrollment 4,034) Butler University to the NCAA men’s basketball championship game two years running, is the 2012 Mad Anthonys Charity Classic for Children Red Coat winner, according to tournament officials.
The 2012 event, played over two days, will be June 17-18 at Sycamore Hills.
We are thrilled and honored to welcome Coach Stevens as part of this year’s event, Mad Anthonys President Eric Ottinger said in a release. He has certainly earned his place among this prestigious and accomplished group of Red Coat recipients.
Stevens, 35, has coached Butler to a 139-40 record, four Horizon League regular-season titles, three league tournament titles and five trips to the postseason in five seasons. He has the top two single-season win totals in Butler and Horizon League history and is the only coach in school and league history to lead a team to the NCAA title game. No one in NCAA history has won more games in his first five seasons.
In 2010, Butler lost 61-59 to Duke when Gordon Hayward’s last-second shot danced on the rim and fell off. In 2011, the Bulldogs again advanced to the title game, losing to Connecticut 53-41.
The 2009-10 Butler team finished 33-5, went undefeated (18-0) in the Horizon League and had a school-record 25-game winning streak. The Bulldogs were also nationally ranked for the fourth straight year and finished the season as the No. 2 team in the final ESPN/USA Today poll.
Stevens succeeded Todd Lickliter as Butler’s head coach in 2007 and had immediate and overwhelming success. In 2007-08, the Bulldogs became the first team in school and Horizon League history to win 30 games, going 30-4, winning the Great Alaska Shootout and the Wooden Tradition, and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament before losing to No. 5 Tennessee. Only three coaches in NCAA history – Bill Guthridge of North Carolina, Bill Hodges of Indiana State and Jamie Dixon of Pittsburgh – put up more first-year wins than Stevens.
This past season, Stevens coached a young Butler team to 20 wins, a third-place finish in the Horizon League and the semifinals of the NIT.
A native of Zionsville, he played basketball at DePauw University, from which he has a bachelor’s in economics. He left a position at Eli Lilly to join the Butler staff as coordinator of basketball operations in 2000-01.