July 5, 2011
FORT WORTH—Rob Evans, a former head coach with more than 40 years experience overall at the Division I level, has joined Jim Christian’s TCU men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach.
“We are very fortunate to be able to add a coach with the experience of Rob Evans to our staff,” Christian said. “Rob has been part of several successful programs as both a head coach and assistant during his career, and his experience will be very valuable to my staff and I. Anytime you have a chance to add a National Coach of the Year to your staff, it is a great opportunity. Rob also has strong ties to the state of Texas, so he is just a great overall fit for TCU basketball.”
“I am excited for the opportunity to coach at TCU,” Evans said. “I have followed the TCU program for several years, especially since the arrival of Jim Christian. I can’t wait to begin working with Jim and his staff.”
Evans owns 42 years of collegiate coaching experience overall. Six of his 14 teams as head coach earned post-season tournament bids, while 17 of his teams overall have advanced to postseason play.
A former head coach at Ole Miss (1993-98) and Arizona State (1999-2006), Evans arrives at TCU from Arkansas, where he spent the last four seasons as an assistant under former head coach John Pelphrey. Among the highlights during his tenure with the Razorbacks included reaching the finals of the SEC Tournament and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in his first season with the program in 2008.
Prior to his time at Arkansas, Evans helped rebuild programs at both Ole Miss and Arizona State. He led the Rebels to a pair of SEC Western Division titles and NCAA Tournament bids before guiding ASU to postseason tournament appearances in three of his last five years.
At Ole Miss, Evans took over a program with just one winning season in the previous nine years and only one NCAA Tournament bid in its history. He led the Rebels to a 14-13 mark in 1994 during his second season, marking the program’s first winning season in seven years, followed by Western Division titles and back-to-back NCAA Tournament bids for the first time in 1997 and 1998. The consecutive 20-win seasons were the first for Ole Miss since 1937 and 1938. Evans was named SEC Coach of the Year and CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year in 1997.
In eight seasons at Arizona State, Evans’ teams advanced to postseason play four times, including a second-round appearance in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. That Sun Devil squad recorded 20 victories for the program’s first 20-win season since 1995. ASU also qualified for the NIT in 2000, 2002 and 2005.
The Hobbs, N.M., native was a collegiate assistant for 24 years before taking over the Ole Miss program. He was an assistant to Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State in 1991 and 1992 after spending 15 years at Texas Tech (1976-90). He started his coaching career by spending seven seasons under Lou Henson at New Mexico State (1969-75), his alma mater.
As an assistant at New Mexico State, Evans helped the Aggies earn four NCAA Tournament bids in seven years with a trip to the Final Four in 1970. He also coached the freshman teams to a combined record of 90-15 during his tenure. Eight of his teams at Texas Tech won 17 or more games with three Southwest Conference Tournament titles and three NCAA Tournament bids, while Oklahoma State reached the Sweet 16 both years with Evans on staff.
Evans was a standout athlete prior to his time on the sidelines. He was the first All-American at Lubbock (Texas) Christian College in 1966 before moving on to New Mexico State, where he captained the Aggies to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths. NMSU’s 1967 team lost to Elvin Hayes and Houston in the NCAA Tournament, while the 1968 squad beat Dick Motta and Weber State before falling to eventual national champion UCLA and Lew Alcindor.
A multi-sport star, Evans was drafted out of high school by the Colt 45s, which eventually became the Houston Astros. Following college, he signed as a free agent with the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association and with the Oakland Raiders as a receiver.
Evans, who was selected NMSU’s most outstanding athlete in 1967 and has been named to the school’s all-time basketball team, was inducted into the Aggie Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. In 1991, he was elected by his peers to be president of the National Association of Assistant Basketball Coaches, was inducted into the Lubbock Christian Hall of Fame in 1990, the Las Cruces, N.M., Hall of Fame in 1989, presented the Texas Tech Outstanding Achievement Award for 1986-87 and selected as NMSU’s School of Education Alumnus of the Year in 1994.