Saturday, May 18, 2024

Double duty: Mike Evans coaching Chaminade’s girls and boys soccer teams to success

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Mike Evans has been a soccer coach at Chaminade High for 25 years, which is nearly half his life. Evans is 54 years old.

“I’m like 85 in coaching years,” he said.

Evans started coaching junior varsity boys soccer in 1992. He started teaching at Chaminade’s middle school in 1998. He’s been the varsity girls soccer coach for so long, he’s won seven CIF Southern Section titles over four different decades. Evans led the Eagles to CIF crowns in 1997, ’98, ’99 and 2000, notched another in 2013 in Division 1, and claimed No. 7 in 2020.

That’s a lot of matches over a 25-year coaching career. Evans has a lot of wins, too – 419 to be exact – which is more than any other local high school soccer coach, including EB Madha’s 327 at Birmingham (boys) and Eric Choi’s 254 at El Camino Real (girls).

“I think it’s more about the right place and the fit,” Evans said of his longevity. “When I started at Chaminade I was single. Now I’m married with three kids and saw one graduate from high school.”

Just when you’d think a veteran like Evans might dial it back, the 54-year-old is actually ramping it up. He’s coaching the boys soccer team, too.

“I couldn’t do it without Keith West,” Evans said of his trusty assistant coach who bridges the gap when logistics become a challenge. “The first year was a challenge, but now we’re winning.”

In his second season as the boys coach while also coaching the girls team, Evans has completely flipped the program around whilst maintaining the success of the girls program. The boys finished their season 13-7-3 overall and a Mission League record of 8-4-2, which marks their first winning season since 2011. The Eagles are ranked No. 4 in the CIF-SS Division 6 poll.

The team is led by midfielders Ryder Perdigru and John Norris, forward Sam Hurst, who has scored 13 goals, center back Ryon Sayeri and left back Nicolas Uriarte, who Evans raves about.

“He’s very consistent, like those traditional left backs that play for European clubs for a long time,” Evans said. “He does his job and others’, too.”

The girls team is 12-4-3 overall, 5-2-3 in the Mission League and ranked No. 3 in CIF-SS Division 3 thanks to Marissa Holert’s team-leading 10 goals and freshman Grace Mau’s team-leading six assists.

“Marissa is a dangerous attacker and very pacey,” Evans said.

Center back Lily Cole is the anchor of the team and has committed to play at Cal Poly SLO. Bella Casillas also helps keep the backline strong at right back.

Soccer seems to run through Evans’ veins. His sister, Jennifer Evans (now Jennifer Lilley), is the all-time scoring leader for the women’s soccer team at Pepperdine after starring at Royal High in Simi Valley.

Evan’s son, Matthew, 16, is a junior at Chaminade and a soccer standout. But he doesn’t play for the Eagles because he’s training with the youth Guatemalan national team preparing for the CONCACAF tournament in Guatemala starting Feb. 11. If the team qualifies, Matthew will compete in the under-17 World Cup in November in Peru.

“He’ll be gone for 40 days. He’s with his mom, he’ll be fine,” Evans said laughing.

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