Heather Stephens was the longest-tenured assistant coach (10 seasons) in the history of Liberty women's basketball.
Heather Stephens, the longest-tenured assistant coach in Liberty women's basketball history, has announced that she is stepping down after 10 years to spend more time with her two young children, Matthew (2 ½ years old) and Kayla (six weeks old). The Lady Flames flourished during Stephens' decade on head coach Carey Green's staff, going 247-78. Liberty won eight Big South titles, made eight NCAA Tournament appearances and advanced to the 2005 NCAA "Sweet 16." "We are certainly thankful for the decade of service Heather has devoted for the development of our women's basketball program," stated Green. "Her contributions helped establish the continuity of success on the basketball court, in the classroom and in the character development of each player. She also served as an excellent role model to our players." "To try and encapsulate what it has meant to work at a place as special as Liberty for the past 10 years is impossible," Stephens added. "I could never thank all the people who have made my time so enjoyable. I do, however, want to say thank you to all the coaches, players and the families represented in the women's basketball program for being such a blessing in my life over the years. I am truly grateful." Stephens' coaching responsibilities included on-the-court player development, academics, equipment coordination and recruiting. She also assisted with scouting and game preparation for perimeter play. As the Lady Flames' academic coordinator, Stephens helped Liberty rank among the nation's top 14 women's basketball teams in grade-point average on three occasions. She also saw Megan Frazee and Kristal Tharp earn CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition. In November 2011, Stephens was ranked No. 7 on CollegeInsider.com's list of the Top 25 Mid-Major Women's College Basketball Assistants. A native of Monument, Colo., Stephens joined the Lady Flames' staff in 2003, after graduating from Wyoming earlier that year. She was a four-year letterwinner for the Wyoming Cowgirls women's basketball team during her time in Laramie. "I am appreciative of her efforts and investments, as well as the support she has given to me personally, to our program and to Liberty University," Green added. We collectively wish Heather and her family God's blessings as she steps into a different role and prepares for new challenges." "I want to especially thank Coach Green for the opportunity to work alongside him and for the example he has been as a man of God, a teacher, a fierce competitor and a coach," expressed Stephens. "It has been an honor to work with someone who treats his staff and players as family, never sacrificing the individual for a victory on the court. "I also want to thank my husband, Jesse, for all his love and support as I have lived out my dream of being a college basketball coach. I could never have done this without him. "Although my professional responsibilities at Liberty are coming to a close, I am eager to see what God has planned ahead for this great university and athletics program. "But as I step away, I am so excited to see what God has in store next for my family and me while witnessing His daily miracles and blessings in the growth and development of my son and daughter. May God allow me to continue Liberty University's mission of "Training Champions for Christ" as I care for my children."
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