Steven W. Evans
So, exactly what did Coach Steve Evans say? “It's a great day for our kids, our program and our school.”
Those were Coach Evans’ words when his LeMoyne College Dolphins learned that they had been invited to the 2014 NCAA Division Two Basketball Championship Tournament for the first time in 17 years.
Essentially, he said the same thing a few weeks later when he was told that he had been elected to the Rome Sports Hall of Fame.
“It's never about me,” he said, “it's always about the people that helped me get there.”
Being born in Rome and growing up in a house of teachers gave Steve a unique perspective, and his participation in every sport that came along provided the perfect opportunity to observe the interaction between coaches (teachers) and their pupils (athletes).
“My heroes growing up,” he says, “were my parents, the older high school players and the coaches I had in Rome's summer recreation and kids sports programs. The way they prepared, and how much they cared about us has stayed with me ever since.”
By way of illustration, Steve described how his coaches would stop somewhere after practices or a game and buy the kids something to eat. “I always had plenty to eat at home,” he says, “but I realize now that a lot of the other kids didn't, and so the coaches provided a little extra.”
Steve was a Pop Warner football captain, a multiple Elk's Club free throw shooting champ, a District 9 Little League all-star, and a member of the Fran Allison Biddy Basketball all-star travel team.
By the time he got to RFA, Steve was already a very smart, accomplished athlete.
By the time he graduated, Steve had been a three year varsity basketball point guard, a 1,000 point scorer, a two time winner of the Black R Award, a team captain, a first team Onondaga High School League all-star and a member of the Central Empire State Games silver medal basketball team.
In baseball, Steve was the team batting champion (.365) his senior year, and a first team Onondaga High School League all-star. Also at RFA, Steve Evans was a member of the National Honor Society, President of the RFA Block R Club, the winner of the RFA Most Outstanding Senior Male Athlete (1990) and a three year member of the RFA Marching Band.
For lots of good reasons Steve chose Union College in Schenectady. “It was just far enough away so that I could form my own identity, but close enough for friends and family to easily visit.”
At Union, Steve was a four year starter at point guard, averaged double figures in points, set the Union College single season assist record with 192, and was the team captain his senior year. Steve graduated in 1994, and for the next seven years, served as an assistant basketball coach at LeMoyne, Siena and Northwestern before returning to LeMoyne as that college's seventh head coach in 2000. He currently ranks second in coaching victories at LeMoyne College.
His greatest win?
Easy-- even though it was a game that didn't count in the standings, Steve says it was the Dolphins monumental upset win over Syracuse in a pre-season exhibition game in 2009.
“What an incredible game. We just kept fighting and fighting and they couldn't put us away. Unbelieveable!”
How did he decide to become a coach?
“That's easy too. Look where I came from. Both my grandfather and father were coaches.”
His greatest influences though were the many coaches he met and worked with at summer basketball camps when he was a camper and councilor. “I went to many camps with my dad and learned from such great teachers as Bobby Knight, Hubbie Brown, John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Jimmy V and Chuck Daly. How could you fail to learn if you paid attention??
It's obvious that Steve paid very close attention to all the good influences in his life and is now using that skill to impart wisdom, a good work ethic and a positive attitude to others