Men’s basketball hires new head coach

FIU Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment Pete Garcia announced on Tuesday, April 16, the hiring of Anthony Evans as the eighth head coach in the history of the FIU men’s basketball program.

“I’m extremely excited to become the head coach of the FIU men’s basketball team,” Evans said. “This is a great opportunity. FIU is a sleeping giant and to have the chance to build this program and continue what Coach [Richard] Pitino began is unbelievable.” Watch a clip from this afternoon’s press conference.

Evans arrives at FIU following six seasons as head coach for the Norfolk State Spartans. During his time with the Spartans, Evans amassed 99 victories, including back-to-back, 20-win seasons in the past two campaigns (21-12 in 2012-2013; 26-10 in 2011-2012).

“I’m extremely pleased to welcome Anthony Evans as our new men’s basketball coach,” Garcia said. “The success he has had at Norfolk State, taking the team to back-to-back post-season appearances, is something that our team can benefit from as this program continues to grow. Anthony is a coach that will get the best out of his players both in the classroom and on the court. We are very fortunate to have Coach Evans here at FIU.”

Under Evans, Norfolk State made the program’s first post-season appearances since moving to Division I, participating in the 2013 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

During the 2012-2013 season, Evans led Norfolk State to an undefeated Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season mark (16-0) en route to being named the MEAC Coach of the Year.  Evans was named a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award, presented to the top minority coach in Division I basketball. He was also named a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award, presented to the top mid-major coach in Division I, and the Jim Phelan Award, presented to the top Division I coach.

In 2011-2012, Evans led the Spartans to a 26-10 record and their first-ever MEAC Championship. In that season, he also guided Norfolk State to one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history, as the No.15 seed Spartans defeated the No. 2 seed Missouri Tigers in the opening round, 86-84.

Prior to taking the head job with the Spartans, Evans served as an assistant at Norfolk State from 2003-2007. He was formerly the head coach at Delhi Tech (2001-2003) in Delhi, N.Y., and Ulster County Community College (1999-2001) in Kingston, N.Y.

Evans earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.) in 1994, where the native of Brooklyn, N.Y., played guard for the Spartans from 1990-1994.

What They Are Saying About Coach Evans

“FIU hit a home run with Anthony Evans. Few can say they won at the level he did over the last few years. He built Norfolk State into a winner and I have no doubt he will do the same at FIU.” – Richard Pitino, Minnesota Head Coach

“As an alumnus of FIU, I am extremely excited about Pete Garcia’s choice of Anthony Evans as the next men’s basketball head coach. He will be a great fit in the community and the University. He is a proven winner. Student-athletes at FIU just got better.” – Frank Martin, South Carolina Head Coach

“I genuinely believe that Coach Evans is a rising star in our industry, but it hasn’t been known publically. The job he did at Norfolk State speaks for itself, and I anticipate he will do great things at FIU.” – Buzz Williams, Marquette Head Coach