Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Butler Coach Stevens: From Math Whiz to Coaching Whiz

In case you missed it, Mark Viera of the New York Times wrote a great article entitled, For Butler’s Stevens, a Career Change Paid Off.

Viera writes that Stevens had a very promising future with pharma company Eli Lilly as a marketing associate. An economics major, he was a whiz with numbers and showed the polish of a seasoned vet at a very young age.

“I just remember he had a lot of polish,” Philip Hutchison, a consultant in corporate finance at Eli Lilly, said in a telephone interview to Viera about a presentation Stevens gave in front of 400 people on employee compensation at the age of 25. “He was going through the slides, standing in front, without a lectern and without any notes.”

Viera goes on to write about Stevens accepting an unpaid job at Butler as an assistant coach:
The issue was simple: stick with his comfortable corporate job or go down an uncertain path to pursue his basketball dreams.

...Shortly before he resigned, Stevens pulled aside Kevin Hanna, who was two levels his superior, to discuss his intention to go into coaching. Hanna said recently that he posed three questions to Stevens.

Is being a coach what you think of when you wake up, something you want more than you want to eat and sleep? Stevens said yes. Are you going to be able to feed, clothe and shelter yourself? Stevens said yes. And finally, Hanna asked, do you understand the difficulty of what you are about to try to do?

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