Born in Stockton, Kansas, Stevens attended Washburn College for three years before transferring to Yale College. He lettered in three sports at Washburn and played halfback on Yale's undefeated 1923 football team. He graduated from Yale in 1925 and was a member of Skull and Bones. He graduated from Yale Medical School in 1929.
Coaching career and military service
Stevens coached the Yale football team from 1928 to 1932, leaving to become the 21st head football coach at New York University in 1934. His coached at NYU through the 1941 season, compiling a record of 33 wins, 34 losses, and 2 ties. This ranks him second at NYU in total wins and tenth at NYU in winning percentage. Stevens was awarded a place in the NYU Athletic Hall of Fame for his coaching efforts.