Evans succeeded the iconic Eugene Christmas as NSU’s head trainer and leaves with a very distinct place in Northwestern State athletic history, thanks to his tireless dedication to the thousands of student-athletes he served as well as to the innovative service he provided as the university’s corps of athletes nearly doubled largely due to the expansion of women’s sports during his tenure.
“He followed a great one, and he was a great one,” said 13th-year Demon basketball coach Mike McConathy. “He had an unbelievable relationship with my players. I can’t tell you how much they enjoyed and appreciated him. They knew the hours he put in, the emotional investment he had in each one of them. That carried through our athletic department, through the years.”
Evans arrived at Northwestern as a graduate assistant trainer under Christmas from 1979-82. He spent the next seven years as athletic trainer at Natchitoches Central High School, working the Louisiana High School Coaches’ Association All-Star Games two years, before stepping into Christmas’ shoes during the summer of 1989.
NSU director of athletics Greg Burke said Evans’ role in the department was immense during a time that saw demands on the training staff mushroom.
"Ed had the unenviable task of replacing a legend in Eugene Christmas and has done a great job over the years of carving his own niche in the NSU training room. The value of his responsibility on a daily basis -- the very well-being of our student-athletes -- cannot be overstated and he is appreciated for his dedication to that cause,” said Burke. “He’s been a tremendous mentor to the young people he’s worked with and has made lifelong impact on them. We appreciate his contributions to the athletic program over the past quarter of a century and wish him all the best in his retirement."
Evans was a leader in the state’s chapter of the National Athletic Trainers Association, serving six years as president of the LATA and six more years as secretary/treasurer. He was enshrined in the LATA Hall of Fame in 2000.
In 2004, Evans was named the regional “College Athletic Trainer of the Year” by the Southeastern Athletic Trainers Association, which includes members in seven states ranging from Louisiana to Georgia and Kentucky.
A year later, he was presented honorary membership in the Graduate N Club, the association of athletic letterwinners at Northwestern. Only four other people had received that honor.
Evans has been a member of the Advisory Committee on Athletic Training for the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.
He has also served on the Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness, appointed in 2000 by then Gov. Mike Foster.
He served four years in the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman and physical/occupational therapy technician.
He graduated from Georgia Southern in 1979, earned his master’s in physical education from NSU in 1980, and completed 30 hours beyond the master’s with an emphasis in guidance and counseling.