Jan. 2, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - University of Connecticut field hockey head coach Nancy Stevens was named as a recipient of the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance Gold Key award. The Gold Key is regarded as one of the highest sports awards in the state, and since 1940 the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance has recognized individuals from the Nutmeg State who have achieved excellence on the youth, high school, college and professional levels.
Joining Stevens as a 2013 recipient is Mike Gminski, John Blomstrann, Laddie Lawrence and Gary Liberatore.
Past recipients of the Gold Key include Connie Mack (1940), Willie Pep (1961), Walt Dropo (1975), George H.W. Bush (1991), Gordie Howe (1992), Geno Auriemma (2001) and Jim Calhoun (2003).
Stevens, who just completed her 23rd season at UConn and 34th overall, is recognized as one of the top collegiate field hockey coaches in the nation. After leading the Huskies to a 19-3 season this past fall, culminating with a 12th BIG EAST Conference championship, Stevens had an overall record 554-171-24 for a .764 winning percentage in 34 seasons. Her UConn record stands at 373-121-8 (.755).
She ranks first among active Division I coaches in overall wins and games coached with 749. In addition, Stevens has guided UConn to the NCAA tournament in 16 of the last 17 seasons -- including the last 11 in a row -- and has reached the national quarterfinals 12 times while advancing to the Final Four on five occasions.
In 2009, Stevens became the second coach all-time to win 500 games when the Huskies knocked off No. 5 Syracuse 2-1 in the Big East championship game. UConn has qualified for the BIG EAST Tournament in 22 of her 23 seasons, advancing to the championship game 19 times and winning a league-record 12 titles, including three in a row from 1998-2000 and four straight from 2004-07. She's also led the Huskies to the regular-season crown in 13 of the last 16 years.
Stevens has taken two Division I programs to a No. 1 national ranking with Connecticut in 1999 and Northwestern in 1985. She coached at Northwestern for nine years (1981-89) prior to coming to Storrs and compiled a 152-35-12 record, including three NCAA Final Four appearances. She began her career at Franklin and Marshall where she was 28-14-4 in her two seasons (1979 & '80) there. She has coached 29 First-Team All-Americans, 20 at UConn and nine at Northwestern.
A seven-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year and the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 1988, Stevens was part of the U.S. Field Hockey National Coaching staff from 1982-90. She also served as head coach of the U.S. Olympic Festival North Team five times, winning a gold medal in 1986 and silver in '85. As a player, Stevens was a member of the U.S. National Team from 1974-79. She was inducted into the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007 and into the Connecticut Field Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.