INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - March Madness is upon us and Tuesday night, the Butler Bulldogswill attempt to win their second-straight Horizon League Tournamenttitle. Brad Stevens, the head coach of the Bulldogs, is one of therising stars of the college coaching ranks. Stevens, with his wifeTracy at his side, stepped away from historic Hinkle Fieldhouse totalk about his family, his successes and his future.
Only two other college coaches have earned their first 50 winsfaster than Stevens. He's in his second season at Butler andalready he’s the Horizon League Coach of the Year -- he'salso the only Butler coach to win 30 games in a season. You'd thinkthis would make him a hot commodity for major Division I athleticdirectors looking for a new coach. So, 24-Hour News 8's AnthonyCalhoun got right down to the question that is on many Butler fan'sminds...
Anthony Calhoun: I’ve got to ask you thisquestion because I think a lot of Butler fans will want to knowthis as well, but how can you assure these Butler fans that you'regoing to be here for some time?
Brad Stevens: This is a business. There's a lot ofchange, and it happens often. But the thing that I have always feltabout Butler is just how much I like Butler. I love Indianapolis, Ilove the school, and we got a great team and we have a great teamcoming back.
AC: You had 30 wins last year. Did any schoolscontact you last year?
AC: Not one school?
BS: Like I have always told Tracy, every day I amjust trying to do my best so that they want me to coach atButler.
Stevens says he wouldn't be where is today without the supportof his wife, Tracy.
AC: Tracy, you did his first contract, right?
Tracy Stevens: I did. Well, I am a labor andemployment attorney, so I write employment contracts every day. Soit just made sense. And usually when you are getting that offer,it's a pretty quick turnaround. So Brad called and said, "I have acontract, I need you to look at it." And I have never been so happyto look at a contract before.
BS: I said, "Don't be too critical, let's just dothis and be done with it." I then joked and said, "I am the onlycoach in the country paying 100 percent to his attorney."
The Stevens have a three-year-old son named Brady and areexpecting another child in May. They met at DePauw and even backthen, Tracy said basketball was a big part of their lives.
TS: Our third date, we drove from Greencastle toAnderson to go to a high school game at the Wigwam. At the time, Ishould have known what I was getting into.
Tracy has spent a lot of time behind the bench, watching herhusband become one of the hottest names in coaching.
AC: Brad, is there a coach out there that you tryto model yourself after?
BS: I learn a lot from the coaches that I playagainst. I think about and watch on film and try to pick up on whatthey're doing and how they run things and why they run things. I amalways trying to figure that out. ...But if I had to go outsidebasketball, without question, I think we have had the best rolemodel in the world here in Indianapolis in Tony Dungy. The way hetreats people, he set a tone for me the right way to coach.
But coaching against a legend can be quite intimidating. Stevensadmits an encounter last year left him speechless.
BS: I am going to admit this right now. When yougo to Alaska and the three guys on the opposite sidelines are(John) Beilein, Seth Greenberg of Virginia Tech, and finally, BobKnight at Texas Tech, and you add up their career wins and theyears they have been coaching -- and I think all three of them havebeen coaching longer than I have been alive -- in retrospect, youlook back and it kind of makes you jump.
The 32-year-old Stevens knows he doesn't look his age and saidhe's gotten used to being mistaken for one of his players.
BS: But not as much recently because now I amwalking around with a bunch of guys who look like they’re 14.So I do look a little bit older than last year.
Tracy Stevens: The funniest, I think I heard it ata high school game, a woman asked if he was a player. He said, "No,I am the coach." And she was shocked.
Brad, who is from Zionsville, said he has to pinch himselfsometimes because he knows he's landed his dream job.
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