June 12, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State men's basketball coach Tom Izzo has announced that Dwayne Stephens has been promoted to associate head coach. A four-year letterwinner at MSU from 1989-93, Stephens will begin his 10th season on the Spartan bench this fall, having joined the staff as an assistant prior to the 2003-04 season.
"Dwayne Stephens has certainly earned this promotion," Izzo said. "Over the last nine years, he's continued to improve as a coach and expanded his responsibilities, while patiently waiting his turn. His efforts have played a major role in our success over the last decade, as he's worked to develop many of our big men, and continued to establish our identity as a team committed to rebounding. In addition, he's played a major role in our ever-improving recruiting, and has developed a greater understanding of all the different facets of being a head coach. He's helped us reach Final Fours and win championships. Of course, his championship experience dates back to him making the game-winning shot against Purdue to win the 1990 Big Ten Championship in the first year of Breslin.
"When a decorated player like Draymond Green credits much of his development to Coach Stephens, that's the ultimate compliment a coach can receive. The list of players that he's helped develop is quite impressive and spans back to his time at Marquette where he helped mentor Dwyane Wade. There is no doubt in my mind that he has positioned himself to be the next MSU assistant coach to run his own program."
"I want to thank Coach Izzo for this great opportunity to take the next step in my coaching career," Stephens said. "Having played at Michigan State while Coach Izzo was associate head coach to Coach Heathcote, I'm well aware of the significance of this position. I've watched closely as other assistants have grown in this position, and I'm committed to doing the same. The fact that this opportunity comes at my alma mater only serves to make it more special. As a staff and team, we've experienced tremendous success over the last nine years. Working alongside Coach Izzo, as well as Coach Garland and Coach Fife, I'm excited about the future in store for this great program."
Stephens joins an impressive list of recent associate head coaches at Michigan State. Izzo served in that role from 1990-95 before becoming the Spartan head coach. Under Izzo, Tom Crean, Brian Gregory, Doug Wojcik, Jim Boylen and Mark Montgomery have all held the title. All five left Michigan State to direct their own Division I program, and are all still either a college head coach or an assistant coach in the NBA.
Among Stephens' many responsibilities, he coaches the Spartan post players, while also handling scouting and recruiting duties. Under his tutelage, Draymond Green was named the 2012 NABC Division I Player of the Year, was a Consensus First-Team All-American and won Big Ten Player of the Year honors. Green also finished his career as MSU's all-time leading rebounder, leading the conference in rebounding as a senior at 10.6 rpg, after finishing third in the league as a sophomore and junior. Spartan center Paul Davis was a three-time All-Big Ten honoree, including first-team all-conference and Associated Press honorable mention All-America honors in 2003-04, while finishing among the top 10 scorers and rebounders in MSU history. In 2009, second-team All-Big Ten performer Goran Suton led the Big Ten in rebounding, one season after ranking second in the conference.
The Spartans led the nation in rebounding in 2009 and 2010, and have paced the Big Ten in six of his nine seasons.
Stephens has coached in 11 straight NCAA Tournaments, including the 2003 Final Four with Marquette and the 2005, 2009 and 2010 Final Fours with MSU. He has been a part of three Big Ten Championship teams in 2009, 2010 and 2012. In 2011, the Spartan big men led a defensive attack that set a school record in blocks. In fact, four of the top five seasons in Michigan State history for blocks have occurred since Stephens joined the coaching staff.
Stephens has emerged as one of the top recruiters in the nation. He was named a Rivals.com Class of 2006 Top 25 Recruiter in September, and played a key role in putting together a top-five recruiting class in the fall of 2006. In July 2010, he was among the top five coaches on a list of the "Top 25 High-Major Assistants," according to FoxSports.com. Bleacher Report listed him among the Top 10 Best Assistant Coaches and the Top 10 Recruiters in the country in 2012.
A Ferndale, Mich., native, Stephens was a four-year letterwinner at Michigan State University from 1989-93. In his four seasons, the Spartans posted an 84-38 overall record and made four postseason appearances, as Stephens never missed a game in his career. As a freshman in 1989-90, Stephens was a third-team selection on Basketball Weekly's Freshman All-America Team and scored the game-winning basket in a 72-70 victory over Purdue that clinched the Big Ten Championship. In 1990-91, he was the recipient of MSU's Best Defensive Player Award on a squad that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
As a junior, Stephens was voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates as he averaged 11.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He was also named honorable mention All-Big Ten and was named the recipient of MSU's Most Improved Player Award. In two NCAA Tournament games, Stephens averaged 16.0 points. In 1992-93, Stephens served as a senior co-captain for the Spartans, averaging 9.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He was named MSU's Best Defensive Player and earned a spot on the Basketball Weekly Honorable Mention All-Midwest Team.
Prior to returning to his alma mater, Stephens spent four years (1999-2003) as an assistant at Marquette under former MSU assistant Tom Crean. In 2001, Brian Wardle became the school's first-ever first-team All-Conference USA honoree. Marquette made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003, advancing to the Final Four in 2003. Dwyane Wade was a two-time all-league performer and earned First-Team All-America honors from The Associated Press in 2003. The Golden Eagles posted a 27-6 record in 2003, winning a Conference USA regular-season title.
Prior to his coaching stint at Marquette, Stephens spent the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons as an assistant coach at Oakland University, where the Golden Grizzlies compiled a 27-27 two-year record. During the `98-99 campaign, Oakland's first season as a Division I member, the Golden Grizzlies posted a 12-15 mark.
Following the conclusion of his collegiate career, Stephens played three professional seasons in Europe.
Stephens earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Michigan State in 1993.