NORMAN — Former Oklahoma basketball coach Bob Stevens passed away earlier this week after a boating mishap on Lake Texoma. He was 88.
Stevens coached the Sooners from 1962-67. He brought an up-tempo style to OU when he was hired away from South Carolina by former OU football coach and athletic director Bud Wilkinson. Stevens, who began his coaching career at his alma mater, Michigan State, had spent three seasons coaching the Gamecocks. He was named the ACC’s coach of the year in 1962.
One of the coaches on his Sooner staff was John MacLeod, Stevens’ freshman coach, who then took over the head coaching reins after Stevens’ resignation.
After leaving OU, Stevens worked at Rice and SMU before returning to Oklahoma in 1980. For 20 years, he ran the Waterford Athletic Club in Oklahoma City. Stevens then worked as an aquatics inspector for the Oklahoma County health department, observed officials for the Sooner Athletic Conference and ran a scouting service. He also served as an assistant coach on the Continental Basketball Association’s 1997 champion, the Oklahoma City Cavalry.
Prior to entering the coaching profession, Stevens served in the United States Marine Corps in World War II and the Korean War, reaching the rank of colonel.
He is survived by his daughter, Nancy Barcellus, of Norman, and a son, Robert L. Stevens, Jr., of Newport Beach, Calif.
At his request, there will be no funeral. A celebration of his life will be held this weekend at Lake Texoma at the Tanglewood Resort at Pottsboro, Texas.