KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University and Director of Athletics Dan Bartholomae announced the hiring of Dwayne Stephens as the new head coach of the WMU's men's basketball program. Stephens was introduced as the 15th head coach in program history at a press conference inside University Arena.
"It is truly a great day to be a Bronco, as we welcome, DJ, Sarah, Taylor, Skylar and Noah Stephens to the Bronco family," Bartholomae said. "From our earliest conversations, DJ rose to the top of an incredibly competitive candidate pool as the right choice to lead our men's basketball program to excellence. His reputation as one of the nation's most elite recruiters and his experience in developing some of the world's finest basketball athletes separated him as one of the country's most outstanding basketball coaches. However, it was his sincere and authentic personality, coupled with his commitment to the holistic development of our student-athletes, that made him the best fit for our position. I want to thank Glenn Sugiyama and DHR Global for their professionalism in partnering with us on a first-class search process.
I am certain that our basketball program will inspire pride and excitement amongst the community and we are excited to introduce this new era of Bronco Men's Basketball to the Southwest Michigan community, and to our WMU friends nationwide. We can't wait for you all to join us in supporting Coach Stephens and this fantastic group of young men. Go Broncos!"
Stephens arrives in Kalamazoo after spending the last 19 seasons as an assistant at Michigan State under legendary head coach Tom Izzo, the last 10 of which were as Associate Head Coach. Overall, he has coached in 20 consecutive NCAA Tournaments and reached six Final Fours. At MSU, he helped guide the Spartans to six Big Ten Championships, as well as four Big Ten Tournament titles.
"I'm very excited for the opportunity to lead Western Michigan basketball," Stephens said. "My family and I would like to thank President (Edward) Montgomery and Director of Athletics Dan Bartholomae for giving us this opportunity. I've spent nearly 20 years at Michigan State, working under a Hall of Fame Coach Tom Izzo. Saying thanks to him for what I've learned and for our friendship isn't enough. I will carry all of those lessons with me to Western Michigan, which I think is a perfect place for me as a head coach.
"I consider myself a blue-collar coach, who is a grinder and I will work tirelessly to make Western Michigan one of the best in the Mid-American Conference and take the program to new heights. I will expect my staff and our student-athletes to carry the same work ethic and dedication, both on and off the floor, into making our school and the Kalamazoo community proud of our program. From the first time I met with Dan, I could feel the energy and excitement he has for Western Michigan and I love the vision he has, not only for our men's basketball program, but for athletics at WMU. I'm so very happy for this opportunity and can't wait to get started!"