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Home arrow Opinion arrow La Grande’s Evans named coach of year

La Grande’s Evans named coach of year

Ron Evans continues to add to his accolades as a golf coach.

Evans, who has been coaching the La Grande High School boys golf team since 2007, was named the 4A golf coach of the year by the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association at a banquet last month.

It is the second straight year that Evans has won the award.

“It’s quite the honor,” Evans said. “It means everything. It’s what you strive for as a coach.”

Evans helped coach the Tigers to back-to-back state titles in 2011 and 2012.

In 2012, LHS finished 13 strokes better than second place North Valley. The Tigers had a team score of 637, while the Knights finished at 650.

The championship in 2011 was a little tighter. 

La Grande rallied from six shots down on the final day of the state tournament to capture a two-stroke victory over Klamath Union.

In 2013, Evans led a young Tiger team to eighth place at state.

Evans said he has maintained a simple coaching philosophy over the years to get the best out of his players.

“My philosophy has pretty much been the fundamentals,” Evans said. “Coaching the players to work on the basics, so down the road they aren’t doing things wrong. Things like stance and grip are important.”

Evans said he has played golf since he was 7 years old. He competed in high school but got away from the game for a few years after college.

He picked the game back up seriously in his 30s, and he helped out around the
La Grande golf team when his son played for the Tigers.

When the coaching position came available in 2007, Evans signed up.

Since then LHS golf has been a staple at the state tournament.

But there have been challenges along the way during his tenure as coach.

“About six years ago, I had a bunch of freshmen on the team. And just getting those kids to compete was a challenge. But by the time they were seniors, they were competing with the rest of the league and did great,” Evans said.

Evans said coaching golf is unique compared to coaching more mainstream sports like football or basketball.

“Golf teaches you life-long lessons,” Evans said. “It’s not like other sports. It’s something that you can continue to play the rest of your life.”

The state titles have been the highlight of Evans career, and he said those are special moments that will always stay with him.

“Those mean a lot. My dad was a golf coach and never won a state title. So, I know how hard it is to win one.”

And while the winning is nice, the best part about coaching for Evans has been helping the players.

“The reward is watching the kids mature and grow along the way,” Evans said.

Evans added that he’s not ready to give up coaching yet, hoping to go a few more years. 

So you can expect to see La Grande golf in contention for many years to come.

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