Who is Brad Stevens?

He’s probably known best as the coach who transformed the Boston Celtics, an American professional basketball team competing in the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Brad Stevens currently serves as the president of basketball operations for this team, however, his path to success was long and hard.

He’s known for his calmness, but many don’t know that he’s a fiercely competitive guy, however, often described as humble, modest, and a ‘not about the money’ coaching prodigy. To learn more about his vision and leadership, and more about his life, stay with us.

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Early life, family, and education

Born Bradley Kent Stevens under the zodiac sign of Libra on 22 October 1976, which makes him today aged 46 (as of July 2023), he’s a native of Zionsville, Indiana USA, Brad holds American nationality and his ethnicity is White. Raised in his hometown by his parents, his father, Mark Stevens, is an orthopedic surgeon, and his mother Jan a former Butler University professor. Since Brad hasn’t spoken about his siblings, many believe that he’s an only child.

Brad had an interest in basketball from an early age, according to his parents, and was five years old when he began watching basketball games – his father would often take him to watch Indiana Hoosiers games. On his eighth birthday, his parents bought him a basketball hoop, and Brad spent his childhood days playing on his friend’s backyard basketball court. Besides that, Brad also enjoyed solving puzzles.

When it comes to his educational background, Brad attended Zionsville Community High School, where he was a star basketball player, setting school records. Upon matriculating in 1994, Brad enrolled at DePauw University, where he was recruited to play for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III at the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), earning four varsity letters; Brad was a three-time Academic All-America nominee. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, in 1999.

College coaching career

After graduating, Brad worked at Eli Lily, a pharmaceutical company, but when he was invited to volunteer in the Butler University basketball office, he quit his job and accepted the offer. His plan was to work at a grill bar to pay his bills, and live in a friend’s basement, however, he got a low-paid position as a co-ordinator of basketball operations; at the time, the head coach was Thad Matta. Following the 2000-2001 season, the school’s new head coach, Todd Lickliter, promoted Brad to a full-time assistant coach.

By the season of 2007-2008, Brad was the second-youngest head coach in Division I basketball. He and his team ended the regular season with a 27-3 record, and first place in the Horizon League – Butler University signed Brad to a seven-year contract.

In the following season, he was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year. Speaking of his achievements, he won three times Horizon League Champion (in 2008, ‘10, and ‘11), two times Horizon League Coach of the Year (in 2009 and ‘10), two times NCAA Regional – Final Four (won in 2010 and 2011 consecutively) and the Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award in 2011.

In April 2010, Brad signed a long-term deal with Butler (through the 2021-2022 season), however, although the financial terms of the contract haven’t been disclosed, there have been speculations that Brad could leave the university for a higher-paid job, which he denied, adding that he would leave Butler only if they kick him out.

NBA coaching career

However, Brad signed as the head coach for the Boston Celtics on 3 July 2013, and in his second season in this position, led the team to the 2015 play-offs as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with a 40-42 record. That same year, it was announced that in voting for the NBA’s Coach of the Year, Brad finished fourth.

In 2016, Brad was named the Eastern Coach of the Month for February, after guiding his team to an Eastern Conference-best 9-3 record during the month, including a perfect 6-0 mark at home. In the following year, Brad was named the Eastern Conference head coach for the NBA All-Star Game. In the season 2017-2018, the Boston Celtics under Brad’s leadership finished the season as the second seed in the Eastern Conference, with a 55-27 score. Brad was considered a front-runner for the 2018 NBA Coach of the Year Award.

In June 2021, Brad was named the president of basketball operations, and hired Ime Udoka as his replacement as head coach of the team, who was suspended in February 2023 and replaced with Joe Mazzulla.

Many basketball specialists consider Brad’s coaching style crucial for the winnings the Celtics achieved. He spends a lot of time preparing for each game, almost as much time looking at statistics as watching game film. Brad’s teams are well-known for their defense, good teamwork, and ability to force opponents into making uncharacteristic mistakes. He gives priority to mental health, good education, and focus, which became known as ‘The Butler Way’- transforming good players into a great basketball team.

Wife and children

Brad is married to his former long-term girlfriend Tracy Wilhemly – they met in high school and dated for years before they tied the knot in 2003. Tracy is a lawyer and a Case Western Reserve University School of Law graduate. Tracy is Brad’s agent, and as she put it, is responsible for his contracts.

The couple has two children together; their son, Brady was born in 2006, and daughter Kinsley  in 2009.

How rich is Brad Stevens?

According to reports, while serving as the head coach at Butler University, Brad made around $395,000 plus benefits, which many considered a relatively low figure for a successful Division I head basketball coach. When the rumors about his leaving began, Bobby Fong, then-president of the university, stated that they could afford to increase Brad’s salary to approximately $1 million.

Signing a six-year contract with the Boston Celtics, which was reportedly worth $22 million, Brad became the youngest NBA head coach. As of July 2023, his net worth has been estimated at $6 million.

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