Dennis Evans was recently awarded Coach of the Year for 2A Idaho State Baseball for both 2011 and 2012. The Idaho State Coaches Association presented the awards.
The awards were presented to Evans at Malad High School. The Dragons team took the State Championship in both 2011 and 2012, earning a rare repeat for the state title. In both games, his team faced New Plymouth. Also, in both Championship games, Evans’ pitchers were named MVP with Skyler Thorpe in 2011 and Bracken Gibbs in 2012.
Talk of getting a Malad High School baseball team back into the school became a reality in 2001. A group of parents worked constantly to make this happen. Steven Harrison came to Evans and asked if he would donate his time as the coach of the newly formed team. Evans quickly agreed and has not regretted that decision as he looks forward to his 11th season at the helm of Dragon Baseball.
With the exception of the teams’ first year, Evans has led the Dragons to the state tournament every year. Up until 2011, their best finish was a second-place trophy. They also earned two third place trophies. The Championship title eluded them until 2011. Only one year did the team go two and out at the state tournament.
“We have had a lot of pride with baseball,” said Coach Evans. “With baseball, we have been able to get some players’ educations partially paid for.”
Evans added, “It is easy to win awards when you have the kind of players that we have had. I remember when we won the first one (in 2011), I just stood there and thought, ‘This is not supposed to happen.’ We didn’t go up there expecting to win and it had not sunk in how big of a deal it is.”
Coach Evans expressed his appreciation for his assistant coaches, especially the past two seasons. Bobby Green has been with Evans since the start of the program. The last two seasons, Austin Williams, TC Williams, and Doyle Williams have also helped coach the teams.
Evans added, “It takes good kids to win the State Championship! They are athletic but they are fun kids to work with who love the game of baseball. I am excited to come back this season. Our 2A Fifth/Sixth District will be tough this year. The other teams are improving a lot. We have got to keep on improving if we want to get to state again.”