Enthusiasm pouring out with each and every word, Ryan Evans Sr. is ready to be the next Wilmington High School football coach.
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.
“We are excited for coach Evans to be the leader of our football program,” WHS athletic director Troy Diels said. “Ryan’s vision for the program as well as his passion are very clear and we feel he will make an immediate positive impact on our young men.”
Evans takes over following the resignation of Scott Killen, who led WHS to a 42-36 record in eight seasons.
“I’m really excited,” Evans said. “I’m ready to rock and roll.”
The Winton Woods High School graduate will get a step up on many new football coaches. He’ll be in the building beginning Jan. 18 as the Wilmington Success Academy facilitator. The WSA facilitator position came open just before the holiday break, Diels said. WSA works with students who aren’t on track to graduate. Evans will guide the students in their quest to earn credits to graduate on time.
“It’s a unique situation,” he said. “It’s different for me. Never had that before, getting there in the middle of the year. It’s good for the kids, good for the program. It’s an advantage. I’m excited for it.”
A native of Cincinnati, Evans and his wife Lisa have three children, Ryan Jr., Kailli and Braylen as well as a Boxer dog named Kane and Rottweiler dog named Zeus.
“I’ve been told by a lot of people I am five years late on doing this (becoming head coach),” said Evans, whose coaching resume includes stops at Winton Woods, Central State University, Middletown, Princeton, Walnut Hills and Monroe. “I just wanted to make sure this was the right time for my family and myself.”
Evans was the defensive coordinator at Monroe last season, his only year with the Hornets and head coach Bob Mullins, but one Evans believes was important.
“It was a good year as far as my development,” he said. “I’m just a much better coach, a much better person at this time.”
It was Mullins, Evans said, who steered him toward the Wilmington position.
“There were other schools out there (with openings),” Evans said. “I have a list of people I talk with, I trust and Wilmington was the one (place) I could see myself at. Even during the interview process, it was all about community and I’m big on that.”
In that season with Monroe, Evans was “fortunate” to face one of the best passing offenses in the area, Western Brown, an SBAAC American Division school he’ll now see on an annual basis.
“They’re a tough football team,” Evans said. “(Quarterback Drew) Novak is a heck of a football player. I had never been part of something like that. It was the epitome of what high school football should be. Our kids never quit. Their kids never quit.”
Monroe won the game 66-58 as Novak had four passing and four rushing touchdowns. The Hornets rushed for 664 yards in that game, a precursor to what Hurricane fans might expect offensively in the coming years.
“I believe in pounding the rock,” Evans said using a notable reference to running the football. “We’ll be a running football team. We’ll mix it up. We’ll be fast. We’ll be physical.”
On defense, Evans said the KISS theory is the way to go.
“On defense, I don’t want my kids thinking,” he said. “We’re going to keep it simple. We’re going to play fast.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email email@example.com or on Twitter @wnjsports