Paul Stevens is in his 26th season as Northwestern's head baseball coach and 29th overall in a Wildcat uniform. He is the winningest coach in program history, having amassed over 600 career wins.
Win No. 600 came on March 4, 2012 in the Wildcats' 14-6 victory over Chicago State in Port Charlotte, Fla.
After leading NU to its best-ever finish in Big Ten play (21-11) in 2006, Stevens entered the Big Ten's postseason tournament with 499 wins. Following a first-round bye and a loss to Ohio State, the second-seeded Wildcats defeated sixth-seeded Purdue 8-4, giving Stevens his illustrious 500th win. Stevens had tallied his 400th win at the beginning of the 2003 season, when the Wildcats defeated Southern Mississippi 5-1 on Feb. 22.
Entering the 2012 season, he had coached 1,202 games, 501 more than George McKinnon (701), who coached from 1962-81.
In his tenure as head coach, the Wildcats enjoyed 15-straight 20-win seasons and have reached the 30-win mark on three different occasions. NU has won 20 games in 20 of those years. In 2010, NU went 8-8 at home making it nine out of the last 10 seasons that it posted a .500 record or better at Rocky Miller Park in Evanston.
Stevens has tutored individuals to a total of 81 All-Big Ten honors during his time as head coach, including J.A. Happ who was a three-time first-team selection from 2002-04. Two players have been named Big Ten Freshman of the Year -- Jeremy Kurella (1998) and Eric Jokisch (2008) -- and two others have been named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year -- Chad Schroeder (1995) and Dan Brauer (2006). In 2010, a school-record four individuals -- Eric Jokisch (SP), Chris Lashmet (3B), Zach Morton (2B), Paul Snieder (RP) -- earned first-team All-Big Ten recognition.
The 2006 season was a record-setting year for Stevens and the Wildcats. With a 21-11 conference record, NU demolished the previous season high conference win total of 15. It also was the first time in school history the team earned a No. 2 seed in the postseason tournament and a first-round bye. For his efforts, Stevens was named the 2006 Big Ten Coach of the Year. The honor was the third of his career. He also was honored in 1991 and 1995.
In 1991, Stevens led his team to a 27-28-1 overall record and a 15-12-1 mark in the Big Ten. Following the team's third-place performance in the Big Ten Tournament, Stevens was honored with his first Conference Coach-of-the-Year laurel. In 1995, the Wildcats finished 36-19 overall and placed third in the Big Ten with a 15-13 mark. That year, NU had seven players on the All-Big Ten team, and Stevens received his second Big Ten Coach of the Year honor in five years.
At Northwestern, Stevens has compiled a 615-741-6 overall record and a 293-408-2 mark in Big Ten Conference games entering the 2013 season. On April 11, 1999, he became the school's all-time winningest coach when the Wildcats defeated Illinois, 9-6, for his 305th victory. Stevens supplanted George McKinnon, who went 304-391-6 as the Wildcats' skipper.
Stevens was named head coach in October of 1987 and led the Wildcats to a 28-28 record in his first season. His 1989 Wildcats compiled an outstanding 14-4-2 home record and were in the running for a Big Ten Tournament berth until the final day of the season.
A total of 62 players have been drafted or signed by a Major League club during Stevens' tenure.
Prior to taking over the head coaching duties, Stevens served as a Wildcat assistant for three seasons under former head coaches Ron Wellman (1985-86) and Larry Cochell (1987). Prior to joining the Wildcat staff, Stevens was a scout for the New York Mets. Before joining the scouting ranks, he played three years in the Kansas City Royals' organization and two seasons in the Oakland Athletics' farm system as a second baseman/shortstop. Stevens also played one season with the Athletics' Triple-A club in Ogden, Utah. In 1979, he was named to the Topps All-Minor League Team.
Coming out of college, Stevens was drafted by the Kansas City Royals following an outstanding career at Lewis University. At Lewis, he was named to the NAIA All-America squad in 1976. Stevens led Lewis to the 1975 and 1976 NAIA Championships and was named to the all-tournament squad both years. He was presented the Charlie Hustle Award at the 1975 tournament and earned a Golden Glove Award the following season. Elected to the Lewis Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, Stevens ended his career with a .346 batting average.
In 1975, following his junior season at Lewis, Stevens played for the United States in the Pan American Games in Mexico City, helping the squad to a silver medal. He also played on a U.S. team that toured the Orient that same year.
In 2001, Stevens enjoyed his second tour of duty with the National Team, this time as an assistant coach. The team was made up of collegiate all-stars who played 29 games in 40 days, compiling a 22-7 record which included a 12-game winning streak. The Red, White and Blue Tour spanned two continents, two countries and 10 different U.S. states.
Stevens is a native of Oak Lawn, Ill., graduating from Luther South High School in 1972. He played for two years under former major league great Eddie Stanky at South Alabama before transferring to Lewis.
Stevens, 58, graduated from Lewis in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in elected sciences. He and his wife, Kenan, live in Glenview with their children Trevor (22, a senior infielder/outfielder at Northwestern), Cody (21, a sophomore infielder/outfielder at Northwestern) and Kara (17).