Hendrix soccer coach Jim Evans is switching teams and he’s looking forward to a different challenge.
After six years of coaching the women’s team, Evans will take over the Hendrix College men’s soccer program for the 2014 season. He replaces Doug Mello, who left the Warriors for Carroll College in Helena, Montana.
“I am delighted to be coaching the men’s soccer team here at Hendrix,” Evans said. “At the same time I will miss coaching our women. I want to thank everyone who played for the Warriors under my tenure. I also want to thank coach Mello and wish him the best of luck as he embarks on his new adventure in Montana. We worked very closely together over the last six years and we saw both teams improve substantially.
“Now is a great time for each team to have a new leader; to hear a different voice. Lucky me! I get to make this change without leaving the best place I have ever worked.”
Amy Weaver, Hendrix director of athletics, said, “I would like to thank Coach Mello for his hard work over the past six years. He was done an incredible job recruiting over his tenure and is leaving a very talented team. We wish him much success his new position.
Coach Evans has served as the women’s coach for the past six years and has worked extremely hard to rebuild that program. I know it was a very difficult decision for coach Evans to leave the women’s team, but he has a tremendous amount of experience in the men’s game. I have always been impressed with Jim’s passion for the game of soccer and that he is a true student of the game. He inherits a very talented team and I look forward to watching the team this fall as we start a new chapter under his leadership.”
The Warriors will return 22 players, including six starters, from last year’s squad.
In 2011, Evans guided Hendrix women to a 4-3-1 record in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play, tying for fourth, the highest finish for the program since 2001. In 2009, Evans led a program that set numerous school records, including a tie for most wins in a season (10-7 overall). During his tenure with the women, Evans coached 15 all-conference players and won 38 games.
Evans owns an extensive NCAA Division I coaching career as well. He served as the head men’s coach at the University of Hartford for 12 seasons (1993-04) and accumulated 108 wins, the second most in program history. Evans made NCAA Tournament appearances in 1995 and 1999 and reached the Elite Eight in 1996. He guided the Hawks to five American East Conference tournaments and won the AEC Championship in 1999. Evans holds the record for most wins in a season at Hartford, with 17 victories in 1996. He coached four All-Americans, two AEC Player of the Year winners and 18 All-AEC First Team winners.
Prior to Evans’ position at Hartford, he coached the Thomas College men’s soccer team from 1986-93. He guided three consecutive league championship teams from 1988-90 and one NAIA District V Championship squad in 1988.
Evans was a standout performer for the University of Connecticut Huskies. He captained an 18-2-2 team his senior year and was a three-year letter-winner for the Huskies. Evans was a key member of a UConn squad that made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and made it to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 1974 and 1976. He was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All New England/Northeast Team in 1975 and 1976, and New England Intercollegiate Soccer League All-Star Team in 1975 and 1976. Evans ranks 21st on the Huskies’ all-time scoring list with 61 career points (21 goals, 19 assists) and ended his collegiate career with a 52-6-7 overall record.