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Doing what he loves: Dave Evans back into the coaching game after a summer of extreme uncertainty

Dave Evans has enjoyed immense success coaching in Utah, which made his sudden departure from the profession perplexing.

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Coach David Evans talks to his team during a break in action at Wasatch Academy.

Provided by Wasatch Academy

HERRIMAN — Despite all the success in recent years, Dave Evans was basically ready to call it quits.

But a call from the brand new RSL Basketball Academy quickly kept Evans’ successful coaching career alive and well, and he couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity.

It’s been a little over five years since Evans arrived in Utah from Hawaii to take the coaching reins at Lone Peak after the departure of legendary coach Quincy Lewis. Three years after his arrival, he guided the Knights to a state championship before moving on to coach at Wasatch Academy, where he compiled a 67-14 record over three seasons while taking on the top prep programs nationally.

So why quit given that type of resume combined with his relatively young age?

“It’s been a really, really weird summer for me. That’s for sure,” Evans said regarding all his professional development, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I don’t want to get too much into it, but things just didn’t end up being a good fit at Wasatch, and after all of it, I just assumed I was done coaching.”

Fortunately, Evans had another profession to fill his time immediately — building houses, which is something he’s been doing for quite a while with good success.

“I kept busy, here in Utah and then a bit in Hawaii, helping to build some houses and really began thinking this is going to become a full-time thing for me,” Evans said.

But the type of success Evans has forged in his still relatively young coaching career isn’t something that can be ignored, and the former BYU-Hawaii standout player received multiple calls from prep and collegiate programs soon after his departure from Wasatch.

The calls shot some renewed confidence into him, until he received an offer which intrigued him above all others at the newly formed RSL Basketball Academy.

Much like it does with soccer, the RSL Academy basketball program will provide an intense focus on basketball development with the auspicious goal of becoming the, “premier athletic and academic basketball development program in the United States,” according to the program’s press release.

“It’s absolutely a part of me, and I was really lost without being able to coach for the past couple of months. My spirit has been lifted again and I couldn’t be more excited to back in it and to get this thing going. We have big plans for the academy.” — Dave Evans

“I don’t know how good we’ll be at first, but I feel the potential is there to build something really special and it’s something I quickly wanted to be a part of,” Evans said.

So what is Evans’ vision for RSL basketball? It sort of falls almost exactly in line with what he experienced at Wasatch Academy, which involves bringing in top talent, both nationally and even internationally, while playing a competitive national schedule.

“We’re already received calls from people all around the world, which is exciting,” Evans said. “So we’ll see what we can put together with this tremendous opportunity.”

The opportunity for the students in being part of the RSL Academy will be the intense focus on skill development.

“The biggest difference between us and your typical high school program is definitely the amount of basketball training we’ll undergo,” Evans said. “Kids will be working on their skills both before and after classes, so they won’t be able to help but get better overall. So yeah, it’s sort of becoming like the great program Wasatch Academy has become, but in Herriman. That’s sort of the vision we have.”

As far as coaching again, Evans is appreciative of his opportunity, particularly when it involves coaching his sophomore son, Trey Evans.

“It’s absolutely a part of me, and I was really lost without being able to coach for the past couple of months,” Evans said. “My spirit has been lifted again and I couldn’t be more excited to back in it and to get this thing going. We have big plans for the academy.”