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 materUniversity of Missouri
Playing career
1965–1968Missouri
Position(s)1B
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1969
1973-1977
1978–2013
Missouri (asst.)
Oklahoma (asst.)
Wichita State
 
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Gene Stephenson
Sport(s)Baseball
Biographical details
Born(1945-08-30) August 30, 1945 (age 69)[1]
Guthrie, Oklahoma
Alma materUniversity of Missouri
Playing career
1965–1968Missouri
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]

SeasonTeamOverallConferenceStandingPostseason
Wichita State Shockers (Missouri Valley Conference) (1978–present)
1978Wichita State43-30-1
1979Wichita State65-1510-2MVC Tournament
1980Wichita State53-12-17-1Midwest Regional
1981Wichita State56-1515-11st (West)Atlantic Regional
1982Wichita State73-1415-11st (West)College World Series
1983Wichita State55-187-11st (West)Midwest Regional
1984Wichita State40-227-74thMVC Tournament
1985Wichita State68-2015-51stMidwest Regional
1986Wichita State45-1812-82ndMVC Tournament
1987Wichita State59-2013-71stWest I Regional
1988Wichita State56-16-116-41stCollege World Series
1989Wichita State68-1513-51stCollege World Series
1990Wichita State45-1914-6t-1stMidwest Regional
1991Wichita State66-1321-31stCollege World Series
1992Wichita State56-1118-31stCollege World Series
1993Wichita State58-1717-31stCollege World Series
1994Wichita State45-1719-21stMidwest Regional
1995Wichita State53-1724-81stMidwest I Regional
1996Wichita State54-1124-41stCollege World Series
1997Wichita State51-1821-71stSouth II Regional
1998Wichita State56-726-11stMidwest Regional
1999Wichita State59-1424-71stWichita Regional
2000Wichita State44-2124-81stMinneapolis Regional
2001Wichita State42-2421-112ndMVC Tournament
2002Wichita State47-1723-91stWichita Regional
2003Wichita State49-2719-132ndHouston Regional
2004Wichita State49-1628-41stFayetteville Regional
2005Wichita State51-2416-82ndKnoxville Regional
2006Wichita State46-2215-93rdNorman Regional
2007Wichita State53-2220-41stWichita Super Regional
2008Wichita State48-1719-51stTallahassee Super Regional
2009Wichita State30-2711-73rdNorman Regional
2010Wichita State41-1915-6t-1stMVC Tournament
2011Wichita State39-2614-72ndMVC Tournament
2012Wichita State35-2512-93rdMVC Tournament
2013Wichita State39-2815-62ndManhattan Regional
Wichita State:1837-675-3590-192[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]