Mesa, AZ – Being an outstanding athlete doesn't necessarily translate into being a good coach. But the in the case of Mesa women's basketball leader Kori Stevenson that has definitely not been the case.
A fine high school and college player in her own right, Stephenson has used the knowledge she gained from those days to forge one of the best coaching careers in the NJCAA.
A dynamic personality has helped her become an outstanding recruiter, an obvious pre-cursor to on-court success. And there has been lots of winning at MCC.
Following a great career at Forsyth (Mont.) H.S., Stephenson moved to the South Dakota School of Mines. There, she scored 1,934 points and is also in the top ten in school history in rebounds, steals, assists and three-pointers. It added up to a Hall of Fame career.
Arriving at Mesa as an assistant coach in 1999, she took over the top job for the 2006-07 season. In the ensuing 13 years her accomplishments have been almost legendary.
The most obvious is the NJCAA Division II national championship in 2013-14 for which she was named national Coach of the Year. However, that may not have been her best coaching job of her career. The previous season she, and long-time assistants Ben Nelson and Sam Stevens, led a freshman-dominated squad to the NJCAA championship game.
In all, the T-Birds have made seven NJCAA national tournament appearances in her 13 years on the bench with five, top five finishes.
She has posted a fine 281-143 record and guided eight All-American players. In total, 32 players have earned all-conference or all-region honors.