Butler University Basketball Coach Brad Stevens

Butler coach Brad Stevens celebrates his team's victory over Kansas State and trip to his first trip to the Final Four. (WXIN-TV FOX59 / March 27, 2010)

The biggest chance Brad Stevens ever took, the best game plan he ever drew up, had nothing to do with a prized recruit or some brilliant set of Xs and Os scrawled out on a greaseboard.

Instead, it came on the day he decided to scrap the business route and go all-in with his first love, basketball.

Ten years after he took the chance and quit his marketing job at a pharmaceutical company to get into the coaching business, the 33-year-old Stevens has led Butler to the Final Four—one of the youngest to ever take a team this far.

He's also a record holder, with more wins than anyone in his first three seasons as a head coach, at 88 and counting.

"Right now," Stevens said of the decision to leave Eli Lilly and Co., "it looks like a great idea. At the time, I thought it was something I really wanted to try and really wanted to do."

At 23, fresh out of college and with an understanding girlfriend who would later become his wife, Stevens went for it.

Nothing overly unique there.

But anyone who's spent any time in college sports knows the progress line for a post-grad assistant rarely points as sharply upward as Stevens' did.

None of his three coaching counterparts in the Final Four are within 20 years of him. All have been major successes. All were still paying their dues a decade into their coaching careers.

Read More of the IBJ Article: Roll of dice turns out nice for Butler's Stevens