With 15 years of Division I coaching experience to her name, Mary Evans will now have her first shot as a head coach.
Valparaiso Director of Athletics Mark LaBarbera announced Friday that Evans had been selected to take over the Valparaiso women's basketball program. Evans, who has spent the last five seasons as an assistant at Ohio, becomes the eighth head coach in program history.
"She brings a wide range of experience to our program and understands what championship basketball entails at schools like Valpo. Her passion and energy were evident from our first conversation," LaBarbera said in a news release.
Evans will replace Tracey Dorow as the Crusaders' head coach.
During her time on Ohio’s staff under head coach Bob Boldon, Evans was a part of three seasons of 22 or more wins and three postseason appearances. The 2015 team set a school record with 27 wins, winning the Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament titles and also reaching the NCAA tournament.
“Through the interview process, I became more and more excited about the opportunity to become the Valpo head coach,” Evans said in the release. “I kept hearing Mark talk about the Valpo experience, and when I started meeting our student-athletes and everyone on campus, I began to understand what he was talking about. I’m thrilled to be a part of that. Valpo’s mission and values align perfectly with my thoughts and philosophy.”
Evans spent the 2013 season at Youngstown State where she helped the Penguins to a 23-10 record and a win in WNIT). She has also coached at her alma mater Georgia Southern (2007-2012), South Carolina-Aiken (2005-2007) and Seton Hall (2001-2005).
She helped guide the Georgia Southern team to a 19-12 record in 2010, the program’s highest win total since 2003. During her time as an assistant and recruiting coordinator at Division II South Carolina Aiken, Evans helped the program to its first 20-win season since 2002 in the 2007 season. At Seton Hall, Evans was on staff as the Pirates reached the WNIT in 2004 and 2005. She was the recruiting coordinator during the 2005 season.
“I’ve had a vast array of experiences that I believe will serve me well in leading Valpo’s program,” Evans said. “I’ve coached at universities that are similar to Valpo, and I’ve worked for a wide variety of coaches. Over the last 10 years, I have defined how I want to run a program. I’ve developed a solid blueprint of what it takes to turn a program around, and I look forward to implementing that at Valpo.”
A two-sport athlete at Georgia Southern, Evans earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 2000. She won four letters in basketball (1995-1999) and three in soccer during her collegiate career. A native of Summerville, South Carolina. Evans was inducted into the Summerville High School Hall of Fame in 2008.
Evans will be formally introduced at a welcome reception at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Athletics-Recreation Center media room.