West Icon Stevens Dies

Below is a story carried in the Madison Capital Times about the passing of former basketball coach Jim Stevens:

West Icon Stevens Dies

The Capital Times :: SPORTS :: D2
Friday, December 29, 2006
Dennis Semrau

James Stevens, a former long-time boys basketball coach and physical education teacher at Madison West High School, passed away Thursday evening. Stevens was 81.

Stevens, who graduated from Madison East in 1942, led West to the 1958 WIAA state tournament semifinals in his first season as the Regents’ head coach. West lost 57-55 to cross-town rival East, which went on to win the state championship.

Stevens had a 523-296 record during his 38-year high school basketball coaching career, including four years at New Glarus, two at Mauston and the last 32 at Madison West.

“He was a great teacher,” said Roger Wiebe, who captained Stevens’ first team at West in 1957-58 and later served as his assistant before he succeeded him as head coach in 1989.

“He was quiet and reserved, a true gentleman. He never lost his cool. He stayed steady.”

Stevens led West to six state tournament appearances, including 15 regional championships, and won or shared 10 Big Eight Conference titles. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Madison Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

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