Dulcie (Cookie) Stevens is in her second season as an assistant coach on head coach Linda Hampton-Keith's staff. In her first season, she helped lead NC State to its first NCAA Tournament win in program history and first appearance in the NCAA Championships since 2012.
She was was also responsible for helping lead the Wolfpack to a program record 15 ACC wins and an unbeaten 10-0 ACC record in home matches for the first time in program history.
Stevens works primarily with the middle blockers and under her leadership, Kaitlyn Kearney broke the program record for career blocks (556) and was also named a Second Team All-ACC Selection.
A 35-year coaching veteran, Stevens has coached in three NCAA Final Fours and 12 NCAA Tournaments.
Additionally, she owns six years of division I head coaching experience.
“I’m thrilled that Cookie is joining our Wolfpack Family,” said Hampton-Keith. “She’s the perfect fit at the perfect time for our program. She embodies everything we stand for in the culture we are building and she is an unbelievably talented and knowledgeable coach. Our team is so lucky to have her as a resource on the court and in life.”
When Hampton-Keith was a student at Florida International University (FIU), Stevens contacted her to be an assistant coach for the Panthers. She gladly accepted the offer and was an assistant coach, while also working toward her degree as a full-time student.
From that experience, Hampton-Keith knew that she wanted to pursue a career in coaching.
“I’m very excited to join this program,” said Stevens. “I’ve known Linda for more than 15 years and she’s a woman of integrity. I’m so impressed with Kevin [Campbell], the staff and the facilities. We both have a strong passion for the sport of volleyball and empowering women, so I’m excited to be a part of the Pack.”
Stevens joins NC State after serving as an assistant coach at national powerhouse, Southern California, for 10 seasons. During her time with the Trojans, USC reached three finals fours, the NCAA Tournament each season and finished the year ranked among the top 25 of the final American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll every year.
“Cookie has coached where we want to go,” Hampton-Keith added. “She has been to multiple NCAA tournaments and three final fours. Her experience will prove invaluable as we continue reaching to achieve the vision of this program.”
USC compiled a 245-81 overall record during Stevens’ 10-year tenure with the Trojans, highlighted by a 130-58 mark in Pac 12 Conference play. She helped the squad win the conference championship in 2011, reach the final four and finish the year ranked No. 3 in the final poll.
The 2011 campaign saw the squad break the program record for conference wins with 20 and head coach Mick Haley earned the AVCA’s National Coach of the Year honor. In addition, USC also had the national player of the year and conference most valuable player (MVP) Alex Jupiter, Pac-12 Setter of the Year Kendall Bateman and conference libero of the year Natalie Hagglund.
Under her tutelage, USC’s players garnered 23 All-America mentions, 25 all-region selections and 32 were named to the all-conference team.
Prior to her time in Los Angeles, Stevens was the head coach at FIU for six seasons. She helped the Panthers earn their first NCAA Tournament berth in 2001 after winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament to claim an automatic bid.
FIU charted a 3-0 sweep against UCF in the first round to tally the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory. The Panthers fell in the following round to Florida, but ended the year at 24-8, one of the most successful seasons in program history.
Stevens was named the AVCA South Region Coach of the Year and also garnered Sun Belt Coach of the Year honors following that season. FIU notched 1,945 kills in 2001, which still stands as the program record for most kills in a single season.
With her guidance, Nirvana Kos was a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference First Team selection and secured 2001 tournament MVP honors.
Before assuming the position at FIU, Stevens spent two years at Westminster Christian School and 16 years as the head coach at Miami Dade Community College. While coaching the Sharks, she helped the program win two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) championships.
She collected numerous coach of the year honors, headlined by the NJCAA Coach of the Year awards in 1989 and 1986. Additionally, Stevens was the AVCA junior college Coach of the Year in 1988.
Stevens coached 18 junior college All-Americans, four NJCAA National Tournament MVPs and three Academic All-Americans while winning eight consecutive state championships and two national titles.
She played collegiately at Miami Dade Community College for two seasons before transferring to San Diego State where she played her final two seasons of eligibility. Stevens earned All-America, all-conference honors and was voted the team’s MVP as a senior.
Stevens earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from FIU and master’s degree in physical education from Nova Southeastern University.
She is married to Peter Stevens and the couple has two sons, Sam and Tyler. Sam played collegiate volleyball at Ohio State and Tyler played at USC. Stevens is the proud grandmother to Elayna Ann Stevens, Sam’s daughter.