Joining Duke Athletics in 1998, Will Stephens has been with the Blue Devils for more than two decades. Stephens has spent his entire career at Duke as the head sports performance coach for the men’s basketball team, and 17 years in the same role with women’s basketball until 2016. Stephens is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and has held its certification of Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 1996.
Stephens’ hub is the Michael J. Krzyzewski Center, where he oversees player development in the state-of-the-art weight room and practice courts. During his time with Duke’s basketball program, he has coached 42 NBA players, 21 WNBA players, 32 NBA first-round draft picks (including 23 lottery picks) and 11 WNBA first-round draft picks.
Thanks in part to Stephens’ emphasis on the physical development of his athletes, 36 Blue Devils have recorded top 10 finishes in the 6-NBA-Combine-Test since 2000. He has been a part of 17 ACC regular-season championships, 20 ACC tournament titles, nine Final Fours, and three National Championships.
Prior to Duke, Stephens worked in law enforcement for 13 years. He was also an accomplished powerlifter, winning three State Drug-Free Powerlifting Championships from 1991 to 1993. Stephens set the state record for deadlift (661 pounds) in 1993 and won a gold medal at the 1994 World Championships for Law Enforcement.
A native of Whiteville, N.C., he graduated from North Carolina Central University in 1987 with a degree in Criminal Justice. Stephens is married to wife Nancy and has one son, William “PJ” Stephens.