Stephenson, most recently an assistant coach at Iowa for two seasons, was an All-American at Indiana University before coaching the Hoosiers from 1983 to 2002. She was an assistant with the team from 1983 to 1987 before taking over the IU program in 1987.
"Diane brings a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge to the program," Maher said. "She has an energy and passion for the game that is hard to come by. Diane will be working with our bullpen, where I know her experience and leadership will help our pitchers become better in the circle. I look forward to having Diane as a member of the Purdue coaching staff."
In her previous position at Iowa, Stephenson served as the team's hitting coach and instructed the Hawkeye catchers. In her first season with the team, the Hawkeyes posted a 42-16 overall mark and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Last season, Iowa managed a 25-23 mark.
From 2003 to 2007, Stephenson served as an assistant principal, athletic director and teacher at St. Charles School in Bloomington, Ind. She also has been a private consultant and guest lecturer since 2002, providing private pitching and hitting instruction to student-athletes, including camps and clinics at Iowa, Michigan and Mississippi State.
Stephenson got her start in coaching as an assistant at her alma mater, Indiana, under legendary coach Gayle Blevins, who went on to post 1,245 career victories, the second most in NCAA Division I softball history. Blevins, who retired in June after a 23-year career with the Iowa Hawkeyes, was the head coach at Indiana from 1980 to 1987. As a member of Blevin's Hoosier staff, Stephenson helped Indiana to two Big Ten Championships (1983 and 1986), two NCAA Midwest Regional championships (1983 and 1986) and three NCAA Women's College World Series berths (1980, 1983 and 1986).
Stephenson was picked to replace Blevins as the Hoosiers' head coach in 1987 and held the position until 2002. She was named both the Big Ten and Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 1996 after leading Indiana to the Big Ten title. She led Indiana to two of its five NCAA Tournament appearances (1994 and 1996), while coaching five All-Americans and 18 first team All-Big Ten selections.
A five-sport athlete at Concord High School in Elkhart, Ind., Stephenson was the school's athlete of the year in 1977. She was inducted into the Concord High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994 and into the Elkhart Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. She went on to become the first female student-athlete to receive a full athletic scholarship at Indiana in 1977 and the school's first softball All-American in 1981. Stephenson helped the Hoosiers to a Big Ten title in 1978 and led the team to back-to-back appearances in the AIAW College World Series in 1979 and 1980, as the team finished fifth and as the national runner-up.
The Elkhart, Ind., native earned her bachelor's degree in physical education from Indiana in 1982 and her master's degree in athletic administration in 1989.