SAN ANTONIO (June 30, 2021) - Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) has announced the resignation of Stacy Stephens, Head Coach for the women's basketball team. Stephens will be the Head Coach for the NCAA D3 Schreiner University women's basketball team.
"I want to thank President Diane Melby, Athletic Director Shane Hurley and the faculty and staff at OLLU for the support throughout the last four years. I will miss many within the campus, but none more than the young women of the OLLU basketball team and [Assistant] Coach Tommy Turgeon who have become like family. I wish everyone the best and appreciate the support as I continue my career at Schreiner University."
Stephens took over the head coaching position as interim in June of 2019 and became head coach in April 2020. Before that, Stephens was the assistant coach for two seasons from 2017-2019.
In Stephens' first year at the helm, the team had captured the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) regular-season title and finished second at the conference tournament. The team was on its way to the NAIA National Championships as the No. 4 seed in its bracket in March 2020 when the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The women finished 2019-2020 with a 26-6 overall record and 17-1 in the regular season. Under Stephens' leadership, the Saints earned NAIA top statistical rankings in scoring offense, scoring margin, turnover margin, field goal percentage, and free-throw percentage. They were ranked 13th in the NAIA at the conclusion of the season.
Two of her players earned NAIA All-American honors, including Third-Team selectee Kasey Saldana and Honorable Mention winner Dezeree White. Both also received All-Conference First-Team recognition, and White was selected as RRAC Defensive Player of the Year. In addition, Jamia Miller and Lena Wilson received Second-Team honors, while Keviona Barber was named to the Honorable Mention Team, and Tiffany Lopez received Champions of Character recognition. Earlier in the season, White was named NAIA Player of the Week, and RRAC Coach of the Year Stephens was singled out as Head Coach of the Week by HoopDirt.Com. Wilson scored her 1,000th-point under Stephens, while Saldana earned that feat last year. During that season, Saldana became the top-scoring female basketball player at OLLU and second overall among both men and women.
Both basketball teams opted out of NAIA and RRAC championship competition this past season due to concerns over COVID-19 safety and testing protocols. The Saints were still able to play in a few competitions.
As the assistant coach in 2017-2018, the team was the conference tournament runner-up and earned a berth to the NAIA National Tournament, where it finished in the first round. The Saints' final records were 23-10 overall and 16-2 in the conference. The team was the 16th-ranked team in the NAIA at the conclusion of the season.
In 2018-2019, the Saints won both the conference regular-season and tournament titles and earned their ninth trip to the NAIA National Tournament. The Saints finished their season in the NAIA semifinals - the best finish for any team at OLLU. They had a 28-7 overall record and 16-2 in the conference and were ranked 12th in the NAIA at the end of the season.
The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) inducted Stephens into the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame this past May. Stephens had a stellar high school career. She played at Winnsboro High School in Winnsboro, Texas, where she led the Lady Raiders to three consecutive State Tournament appearances in 1998, 1999 and 2000. This included two State Championships in 1999 and 2000. Stephens was named All-State three times and All-State Tournament three consecutive years.
Athletic Director Shane Hurley said, "While we are saddened to hear of Coach Stephen's departure from OLLU, we wish her the very best in her endeavors and hope to see her continue to shape her career. Stacy brings passion and a wealth of experience beyond her age to coaching, and I am certain she will continue to be effective at all levels as her career continues to advance. Personally, I want to thank her for the example she has set for women in athletics. That example will help to bring more female coaches to the field, and it is amazing to see the coaching landscape continue to improve, and doors continue to open because of the genuine efforts of Coach Stephens and others just like her. She has always been an advocate for Athletics, women, her players and the team. The staff and I will miss her; however, we want her to know she will always be in our hearts and hopes as she aspires for the next evolution in her career."