Gene Stephenson

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Gene Stephenson
Sport(s) Baseball
Biographical details
Born (1945-08-30) August 30, 1945 (age 69)[1]
Guthrie, Oklahoma
Alma mater University of Missouri
Playing career
1965–1968 Missouri
Position(s) 1B
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1969
1973-1977
1978–2013
Missouri (asst.)
Oklahoma (asst.)
Wichita State
Tyler Field in Eck Stadium at WSU is home to the Wichita State Shockers baseball team.

Gene Stephenson is an American college baseball coach, who served as the head baseball coach at Wichita State from the start of the 1978 season until June 2013, after that year's season was complete. As of the end of the 2012 season, he had compiled a 1798-647-3 (.735) record. He has the second most wins among active coaches, and ranks second all time in career victories. Only Augie Garrido of the Texas has had more wins. He reached 1200 career wins in 22 seasons, a record. On May 21, 2003, he became only the third head coach in NCAA history to win 1400 games, and on May 21, 2005, he became only the second coach to win 1,500 games. Augie Garrido reached that mark two weeks later, and has since surpassed his win total.

When he arrived at Wichita State, he inherited a program that had been dormant for over seven years. In his first year, despite not playing a home game until their 18th game, his Shockers finished with a winning record. In his third year, they made the first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, and in his fifth they advanced all the way to the title game. The team, with four first team All-Americans (seven overall), lost to Miami. This was all the more remarkable considering that until 1984, they played at a bare-bones stadium with only a tiny bleacher section for seating. The momentum from their 1982 title game appearance helped spearhead the building of a permanent facility, Eck Stadium, in 1985.

Under his leadership, the Shockers made seven College World Series and 26 NCAA tournament appearances, including 14 straight tournaments from 1987-2000. His teams never had a losing season. His 1982 team went 73-14, establishing an NCAA record for single-season wins.[2] Stephenson won his first CWS championship in 1989; also in 1989, the Shockers won 24 consecutive games.

Prior to coaching at WSU, he served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma. During that tenure, the Sooners won five league championships, and went to five College World Series.

For most of the day on July 10, 2005, Stephenson was the head coach of Oklahoma. Several hours after accepting the job, however, Stephenson decided to remain at Wichita State, reportedly due to scholarship issues at Oklahoma.[3]

After 36 years, Stephenson was fired on June 4, 2013.[4][5][6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Guthrie, Oklahoma; Gene attended Guthrie High School, then attended the University of Missouri with his first year on a football scholarship. He had better luck playing baseball, however; as a first baseman under legendary coach Hi Simmons, he was an All-American in 1967. Stephenson served a three-year stint in the United States Army, spending one year in Vietnam. Gene has two children, Jay and Ginny.[8]

His younger brother is Phil Stephenson, who played under him from 1980 to 1983. Gene and Phil were inducted into the Guthrie High School Hall of Fame in 1994. Gene was a first team all-state honoree in football and baseball in his senior year.[8]

Head coaching records[edit]

The following is a table of Stephenson's yearly records as an NCAA head baseball coach.[9][10]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Wichita State Shockers (Missouri Valley Conference) (1978–present)
1978 Wichita State 43-30-1
1979 Wichita State 65-15 10-2 MVC Tournament
1980 Wichita State 53-12-1 7-1 Midwest Regional
1981 Wichita State 56-15 15-1 1st (West) Atlantic Regional
1982 Wichita State 73-14 15-1 1st (West) College World Series
1983 Wichita State 55-18 7-1 1st (West) Midwest Regional
1984 Wichita State 40-22 7-7 4th MVC Tournament
1985 Wichita State 68-20 15-5 1st Midwest Regional
1986 Wichita State 45-18 12-8 2nd MVC Tournament
1987 Wichita State 59-20 13-7 1st West I Regional
1988 Wichita State 56-16-1 16-4 1st College World Series
1989 Wichita State 68-15 13-5 1st College World Series
1990 Wichita State 45-19 14-6 t-1st Midwest Regional
1991 Wichita State 66-13 21-3 1st College World Series
1992 Wichita State 56-11 18-3 1st College World Series
1993 Wichita State 58-17 17-3 1st College World Series
1994 Wichita State 45-17 19-2 1st Midwest Regional
1995 Wichita State 53-17 24-8 1st Midwest I Regional
1996 Wichita State 54-11 24-4 1st College World Series
1997 Wichita State 51-18 21-7 1st South II Regional
1998 Wichita State 56-7 26-1 1st Midwest Regional
1999 Wichita State 59-14 24-7 1st Wichita Regional
2000 Wichita State 44-21 24-8 1st Minneapolis Regional
2001 Wichita State 42-24 21-11 2nd MVC Tournament
2002 Wichita State 47-17 23-9 1st Wichita Regional
2003 Wichita State 49-27 19-13 2nd Houston Regional
2004 Wichita State 49-16 28-4 1st Fayetteville Regional
2005 Wichita State 51-24 16-8 2nd Knoxville Regional
2006 Wichita State 46-22 15-9 3rd Norman Regional
2007 Wichita State 53-22 20-4 1st Wichita Super Regional
2008 Wichita State 48-17 19-5 1st Tallahassee Super Regional
2009 Wichita State 30-27 11-7 3rd Norman Regional
2010 Wichita State 41-19 15-6 t-1st MVC Tournament
2011 Wichita State 39-26 14-7 2nd MVC Tournament
2012 Wichita State 35-25 12-9 3rd MVC Tournament
2013 Wichita State 39-28 15-6 2nd Manhattan Regional
Wichita State: 1837-675-3 590-192[a]
Total: 1837-675-3

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Incomplete (records unavailable for 1978).

References[edit]

External links[edit]