The National Wrestling Coaches Association has named Bill Evans as the assistant wrestling coach of the year for Georgia.
Evans, who has been the assistant coach at Richmond Hill High School the past four seasons, said the award really should go to the team.
“It’s the kids who earned it for me,” Evans said. “They’re all hard workers and they do what is asked of them.”
The Wildcats finished third at the AAAAAA state meet this year.
“When we got there, people were asking where Richmond Hill was,” said head coach Rob Parker. “Now they know where Richmond Hill is.”
At the state meet, Taylor Wilson picked up the first-ever state wrestling championship for Richmond Hill, winning at 182 pounds. The school has only had a wrestling program since 2007, and this year saw members qualify for the state meet in all 14 weight divisions.
“It’s a great thing that he would be recognized like that at the state level by the national association,” Parker said of Evans. “It’s an honor to him and the program.”
Evans said his approach to coaching stems from his experience in high school.
“The wrestling coach wasn’t one of my favorite people,” he said. “I try not to be like that.”
Evans said he enjoys coaching wrestling because it offers so many options.
“No matter the body style or athleticism, a kid can learn to be successful once they figure out the right style,” he said. “There is a large variety of techniques to choose from and I like to help them figure out what works best for them.”
Parker called Evans a “clinician” who travels to Missouri each year to attend a national coaching clinic to pick up tips.
“He’s all about technique,” Parker said. “He runs the mat room during practice.”
Evans, who teaches special education at RHHS and has also owned a martial arts dojo, said he enjoys passing on what he learns to the wrestlers.
“Each year we’ve seen progress,” he said. “We’ve always had some standout individuals, but now we’re seeing a team dedication where the guys are looking at it as more than just wrestling two months out of the year.”
The next step, Evans believes, is to see Wildcat wrestlers moving on to the next level.
“The ultimate goal for us is to see them get offers to wrestle in college,” he said.