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Stevens Steps Down as VU Women's Lacrosse Coach

May 20, 1997

Vanderbilt women's lacrosse coach Wendy Stevens resigned today, Director of Athletics Todd Turner announced.

Stevens, the mother of two young children (Bo, 6, and Haley, 4), cited family considerations as her reason for stepping down.

"Wendy's enthusiastic leadership, her hard work, and her dedication set the tone for the future of our lacrosse program," Turner said. "She put everything she had into helping the program grow and get better. Her dedication to her family is even stronger. I respect her commitment to her family and wish her well. We'll miss her."

Stevens said she'll fondly remember her days at Vanderbilt.

"One of my greatest privileges has been to accept the challenge of establishing a top lacrosse program at Vanderbilt," Stevens said. "My husband and I are totally committed to the University and the Athletic Department, but at this time family concerns dictate that I step away from the lacrosse program. I do so with great fondness for the players and I look forward to following their success in the coming years. I think the program is well positioned to compete in the NCAA Tournament."

June Stewart, Vanderbilt's Associate Athletic Director for Future Revenue Sports, credited Stevens with building VU's lacrosse program from top to bottom.

"Wendy Stevens is responsible for lacrosse becoming an intercollegiate sport at Vanderbilt," Stewart said. "As coach of the club sport team, she built a strong program which was elevated to varsity status. An outstanding recruiter, Wendy has combined youth with club sport veterans to form a successfully competitive program in a short period of time."

Stevens came to Vanderbilt in 1991 as head coach of the women's club lacrosse team and oversaw a successful transition to varsity status in 1996. Her varsity teams compiled a 20-11 record in two years of competition, taking on most of the nation's premier, established programs. The squad earned a Top 20 ranking in 1996 and was a 1997 preseason Top 20 selection.

The 1996 Commodore team ranked fourth in the nation in offense, and the 1997 squad boasted goalkeeper Shana Crabtree, who ranked fourth in the nation in save percentage. Vanderbilt's .655 winning percentage ranked 20th in the nation this year.

Stevens was able to attract 12 high school All-Americans to Vanderbilt, including Sue Napolitano, who in the program's second year of varsity play became the first Vanderbilt player to achieve collegiate All-America status.

A three-sport star as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Stevens earned All-America honors in lacrosse as a sophomore in 1983. After transferring to the University of Maryland, she again earned All-America honors as senior, helping the Terrapins to the NCAA championship in 1986. She was a member of the U.S. Women's Lacrosse team in 1987 and 1988.

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