Utah State University Eastern (USUE) announced last week that Bill Evans will step in as the new men’s basketball coach. Most recently, Evans coached at Idaho State University (ISU) from 2012-2019. He holds the most wins in program history at Southern Utah University, where he spent 16 years from 1991-2007. Evans also led the Thunderbirds to their lone NCAA appearance.
USUE hosted a press conference on Monday to introduce Coach Evans, who began his remarks displaying gratitude for the opportunity to coach the Eagles. “I’m thankful to my wife and all my kids for their support… I was very fortunate that I was able to be selected.”
Evans emphasized that “coaching is coaching” and although he is new to the NJCAA level, he is not new to coaching. A key to success with Coach Evans is finding the right players to represent the school. “I’m going to take guys that want to be at USU Eastern and want to be in this community and play for me… My philosophy is pretty simple. I’m going to bring in good guys, I’m going to develop a relationship with them and then we are going to win some games,” Evans said. “I’ve always recruited good guys. I hope I’ve impacted their lives.”
Coach Evans went on to explain that the opening at USUE was appealing to him because it allowed him to continue his coaching career in the western states. This will aide Evans throughout his stay at USUE, but especially during this off season in terms of recruiting without the ability to travel and meet with players. “I’ve got a lot of contacts and a lot of friends,” stated Evans. “If I don’t know about somebody, I can sure find out pretty quick.”
When asked how to get the community’s support, Evans replied, “One of the things we have to do is win games. Everybody loves a winner. I hope that I can be successful by winning games, the right way, with the right kind of people that this community can identify with,” he said. “I need to be visible in the community, my players need to be visible in the community… I want guys that, again, are gong to represent us the right way.”
Coach Evans would love nothing more than to pack in the BDAC and make it a “tough place [for opponents] to play.” He also wants to help his players grow in the sport and mold them into better basketball players. “My goal is to get the guys at this level to have an opportunity to play at the Division 1 level through skill development.”
Academics are also an important aspect for Coach Evans, who takes pride that over 90 of his athletes have graduated, including the last 22 at ISU.
Evans concluded the press conference with the following, “I’m grateful and honored [for the opportunity]. I’m looking forward to it.”