Future Wilmington High School football players, bring your lunch pail to workouts.
It’ll be business … more than usual with new head coach Ryan Evans Sr. on the job.
Evans was introduced to WHS players Wednesday. The board is expected to make Evans’ hiring official during the Jan. 24 meeting. At WHS, Evans will be the Wilmington Success Academy facilitator beginning Jan. 18.
For Evans and his boyhood aspirations, following in family footsteps always was the plan.
His mother Kim owned a cosmetology business for more than 30 years. His grandmother Angela owned a boutique in the North College Hill area up to the time of her death in 2013.
“Even when I went off to school I started off doing business,” said Evans.
His dream was owning a sporting goods store.
“That was always something in the back of my mind,” he said, noting he “dabbled” in the insurance business for a time.
Evans played football at Winton Woods High School but when he arrived at Central State University in Wilberforce, near Dayton, Evans was not able to continue his athletic career.
“Central State did not have football at the time,” he said. “And I ended up tearing up my shoulders in high school anyway, basically I couldn’t play anymore.”
That was step one in going with a coaching career.
“I hit a stats class (at Central State) and thought this probably wasn’t for me,” he chuckled. “I went to my advisor and said let’s go a different route. She asked me a series of questions and education always popped up.”
Evans finished his college education online at the Union Institute & University in Cincinnati. He earned a degree in Organizational Leadership and Sports Management.
The switch from business to coaching wasn’t something lost on one of Evans’ mentors, longtime head coach Troy Everhart.
“Once I found out I couldn’t play, coach brought me in, said this is something you should look in to doing,” Evans said. “You’re good at it. You’d be a good asset to the kids.”
Evans, skeptical at the time, is now all-in on coaching.
“It’s been a passion and a career I’m so glad I’ve been able to come across,” he said.
Keeping his entrepreneurial background in mind, Evans will focus on the Hurricane football program as his business. He’ll be the owner, not a department manager. He’ll want every aspect of his program and each employee to thrive.
“My main focus here is the young man as a whole,” Evans said. “We want to prepare the whole kid, whether it’s for college, the military, the workforce.
“We’re going to do things in the middle school to increase numbers in football. We have plans for the youth as well to intertwine those two programs.”
One thing Evans will instill in his program, top to bottom, is discipline.
“We’re going to be a yes sir, no sir, yes ma’am, no ma’am,” he said. “That’ll start now, not in August. We’re going to be a tough team. That’s going to be from Day 1. The strength room, championships are won there.”
In the end, it’s all about the student-athletes and improving them in every way.
“We’re going to love our kids,” he said. “I’m a players’ coach off the field. When we get on the field, we’re going to get after it. We’re going to make it a little uncomfortable for them. We’re going to have them work, work hard.”
A lunch pail mentality if ever there was one.