When Chuck Evans and his wife decided to retire to the Lake Thunderhead area, Centerville High School got a head football coach out of the deal.
This is the third year as head coach for Evans, who also serves as a substitute in the district.
Evans says his philosophy is that the student athlete comes first.
“What we try to do is have a positive experience, and looking back on it you would do it again,” he says.
Evans says that Centerville, with its town square and sense of community, reminds him of his hometown of Mount Pleasant, where he grew up the son of highly successful football coach Bob Evans.
Evans did not envision following in his father’s footsteps, but several years after college he found himself attending the same church as a former rival high school football player who was coaching at Southeast Polk High School. The coach asked Evans to join his staff.
“He said, ‘I’m sure with your background you might know how to coach,’ and he started laughing,” Evans recalls.
Evans went back to school for his coaching authorization and was an assistant coach at Southeast Polk for 11 years. He then was assistant coach under his brother at Johnston High School.
In 2001, after Evans moved to Iowa City for his wife’s job, he became head coach at Regina High School. His first year the team’s record was 2-7. Each year the team improved until it won the state championship in 2005.
“It was a great experience for me to come into a situation where they hadn’t had that much football success, and we were able to come in there and get the program turned around,” Evans says.
Evans says the reason he keeps coaching is the kids.
“You deal with all the stuff, the parents and the administration, but when you get down there in between the white lines and you have kids from 15 to 18 and they respect you and come together as a team, it is a very rewarding experience,” he says.
He says former players often contact him to let him know what they are up to or ask for references.
“You can’t put a price tag to that,” he says.