Clifford Stevenson
Clifford Stevenson
Hometown: Pawtucket, RI
Team: Special

Clifford Stevenson
Hometown:
Pawtucket, RI
Sport:
Special
Year Inducted:
1979

Cliff Stevenson is at once a pioneer, teacher, disciplinarian, legislator, evangelist, grounds keeper, and con man – not necessarily in that order. He was bitten by the soccer bug as a boy in Pawtucket’s Fairlawn section, whose residents were largely immigrants from England and Scotland. He didn’t play soccer at Pawtucket West High. That’s because the school didn’t have a team. But he did make his mark in football, baseball, and basketball before joining the Navy upon graduation in 1945. Stevenson played both soccer (He was All-New England) and lacrosse at Springfield College and, after his graduation in 1952, he became varsity soccer and lacrosse coach and director or physical education at Oberlin College. From the first day on the practice field, Stevenson knew nothing but success. In eight years at Oberlin his soccer teams were 48-16-7 with three undefeated seasons and four Midwestern championships. In lacrosse, the beat was the same: a 56-12-4 record with three undefeated seasons and four Midwestern titles. While in the area, he earned his master’s in physical education with honors at Ohio State. After his appointment as Brown’s first full-time soccer coach in 1960, Stevenson experienced his only losing season, winning but one of 10 games. Since then, everything has been coming up roses, especially in soccer, where his record through 1978 was 183-71-18 with 10 Ivy titles, 13 post-season bids, and an undefeated team (13-0-1) in 1967. In lacrosse the stats were comparable: 168-81 with two Ivy titles. In soccer, Stevenson has stressed conditioning, the short passing game, and a solid defense. Between 1963-67, Brown had a 52-5-5 record (all five defeats were by one goal) and outscored the opposition 211-53. There was also a string of 25 straight victories in 1966-67 as Brown dominated the Ivy League and New England opposition. Stevenson did more than anyone else to popularize soccer throughout the state with the formation of Pee Wee leagues. He also took a patch of land in a corner of Aldrich-Dexter Field and turned it into one of the finest soccer fields in New England. The University had expressed its appreciation by naming the area Cliff Stevenson Field. A reporter once asked an Ivy League soccer coach to evaluate the job Cliff Stevenson had done at Brown. “He’s a no-nonsense sort of guy,” came the reply. “He recruits aggressively, is enthusiastic, and is completely dedicated in his approach to the game. He also happens to be one hell of a coach.”