GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Athletics Director Brian Faison announced Monday that Jordan Stevens has been named the head softball coach at the University of North Dakota. Stevens officially begins his duties today.
Stevens spent the previous four seasons as head coach at Valparaiso, where he guided the Crusaders to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances in 2012 and 2013. In his four years at the helm, Stevens posted a 131-96-1 record, as his teams never finished lower than third in either the regular season or conference tournament.
"We are excited to have Coach Stevens take on the leadership of University of North Dakota softball,” Faison said. "Coach Stevens brings solid head coaching experience, along with a strong track record of balancing academics with competitive excellence by his student-athletes."
During his tenure at Valparaiso, Stevens coached 25 student-athletes to all-league honors, including eight first-team accolades and four all-region honors. Additionally, he recruited the 2012 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, the 2013 Championship Batter and Pitcher of the Horizon League Tournament, and the 2014 Horizon League Co-Player of the Year.
"I would like to thank Brian Faison, deputy director of athletics Daniella Irle and the entire search committee for giving me the opportunity to coach at North Dakota," Stevens said. "The potential for this program moving forward is something that we should all be excited for. I am looking forward to working with everyone, including our current players and recruits, to reach our goal of winning Big Sky championships."
In his first season with Valpo, Stevens guided the Crusaders to 34 victories, including a 13-game winning streak. In Horizon League play his team went 15-7, finishing just one-half game shy of the regular-season championship. The Crusaders' 2011 success was in large part due to their record-setting offensive output. Valpo paced the league in nine separate offensive categories, setting team single-season records for runs batted in (245) and home runs (49). Individually, Stevens coached seven league leaders, while two Crusaders broke Valpo's single-season RBIs record and three topped the previous single-season home runs mark. Seven players in all earned all-league recognition, as well as one all-region honoree.
The 2012 Crusaders re-wrote the program's record books, setting 14 new team single-season records and 14 new individual records. Stevens led Valpo to 42 victories that season, setting a program single-season record, and claimed the school's first women's Horizon League championship after going 19-5 in league play. The squad had five players earn postseason honors from the Horizon League, including the league's Newcomer of the Year and four first team all-league honorees. Three players also earned NFCA all-region honors as well.
Stevens then led the Crusaders on a dramatic run to the 2012 Horizon League Tournament Championship. After falling in the first game of the tournament, Valpo won five consecutive knockout games, the last three of which came in walk-off fashion, to claim the Horizon League Championship and the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. In the NCAA Tournament, Stevens led Valpo to within one out of a massive upset at No. 9/7 Louisville in the tournament opener before a walk-off homer, while the Crusaders also had the tying run on base in the seventh inning of their elimination game against Kentucky.
For the second consecutive year, the Crusaders went on a run to the Horizon League Championship, winning five-straight elimination games after losing their opener to claim the tournament crown. Having earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for a second-straight season, Stevens led the Crusaders one step farther in 2013, as Valpo downed Central Michigan for its first NCAA tournament win in program history. Valpo won 29 games in the regular season, including a third-place finish within Horizon League play.
Prior to his time at Valparaiso, Stevens was the head coach at Union College, leading the Dutchwomen to their most successful season in program history. He led Union to a school-record-tying 32 victories en route to the team's first Liberty League regular-season title in five years and the program's first-ever league tournament championship.
Before becoming a head coach, Stevens spent a season as assistant coach at the University of Rhode Island in 2009, where he was directly responsible for the development and coaching of the pitching staff. He also served two seasons as an assistant coach at Niagara University, where he was responsible for the development and individual instruction in hitting. From 2004 to 2006, Stevens was the head varsity softball coach at Notre Dame Academy in Toledo, Ohio.
Stevens graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2004 with his bachelor's degree in sport management.