College coaching pioneer Cliff Stevenson dies at the age of 92

Cliff Stevenson, who built Brown University into a national men's soccer power in the 1960s, has died.

He would have been 93 in April.

Stevenson grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, an early soccer hotbed, and played both soccer and lacrosse at Springfield College after returning from World War II, where he served in the Navy and spent two years on Guam.

He was the varsity soccer and lacrosse coach and director of physical education at Oberlin College in Ohio before moving to Brown in 1960 to become its first full-time soccer coach.

In 1963-68, Brown went 63-9-5 and won or shared the Ivy League titles every season. It went 11-1-0 in 1966 and 13-0-1 in 1967, but it did not go to the NCAA Tournament because of a dispute between the Ivy League and NCAA over the latter's eligibility standards.

In 1968, the Bears returned to the NCAA Tournament and began a string of 11 straight years with victories in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Brown lost to Michigan State in the 1968 semifinals and later reached the final four in 1973 and 1977.

Stevenson, who retired as the Brown men's coach in 1990, finished with a career record of 251-160-36 and 15 Ivy League titles in 31 years at Brown. He was also the Brown lacrosse coach for 22 years (1961-82).

Stevenson's influence extended beyond the college game. His summer camps at Brown were among the first soccer camps in the country. When he retired, every high school in Rhode Island offered soccer as a varsity sport.
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