In his fourth season at the helm of the Valparaiso softball program, Jordan Stevens has led the Crusaders to new heights through his first three years, as Valpo has captured the Horizon League Championship each of the last two seasons and earned the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win last year. Stevens enters 2014 with a 111-67-1 record at the helm of the Crusaders.
Entering 2013 having to replace all but 1.2 innings in the circle from the 2012 team, as well as three of the most prolific hitters in Crusader program history, Stevens simply reloaded the Valpo program. The Crusaders won 29 games in the regular season, including a third-place finish within Horizon League play.
Then, for the second consecutive year, the Crusaders went on a sterling run through 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.
Stevens coached five All-League honorees in 2013, as the Crusaders placed one player on the First Team, four players on the Second Team and a pair of freshmen on the All-Newcomer Team. The 2013 team led the Horizon League in four offensive and two pitching categories, while also boasting players who broke a pair of program single-season records.
The Crusaders’ success under Stevens hasn’t been limited to just on-field action, however. Valpo has also excelled in the classroom, earning the NFCA Team Academic Award and ranking among the top-45 teams in the nation in GPA in each of Stevens’ first three seasons. A total of 25 Crusaders have been named NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes as well.