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Prep running: Evans brothers resign at G.V.

State champion coaches step down after record cross country and track and field season

Posted: May 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Chris and Rob Evans - co-head coaches of the Golden Valley Cross Country team Chris and Rob Evans - co-head coaches of the Golden Valley Cross Country team
Chris and Rob Evans - co-head coaches of the Golden Valley Cross Country team

The way Rob and Chris Evans see it, Golden Valley’s cross country and track and field programs have become self-sustaining, with the formula for success being passed amongst each class of athletes.

Therefore, they feel now is as good a time as any to step aside.

The Evans brothers resigned this week as co-head coaches of the track and field and cross country programs after five years in charge.

Rob cited family reasons for his decision, while Chris is pursuing other coaching opportunities.

“For me, it was a 1-year-old baby at home and living 30 minutes away,” said Rob, who lives with his wife in La Crescenta.

“It just made it really tough. There aren’t enough hours in the day to be a good father and husband at home and a good coach and teacher at school.”

Chris, meanwhile, works early mornings and late nights training athletes, and he’s looking into full-time coaching opportunities.

Together, the Evans brothers helped build the most successful athletic programs at Golden Valley. The boys cross country team has made four straight trips to the CIF State Cross Country Championships, and it won the school’s first state and Southern Section titles last November.

Although the team graduates five seniors, it returns two scorers from the state meet in Nolan Del Valle and Brendan Tinoco and brings up several talented underclassmen who thrived at the JV and frosh/soph levels.

Additionally, senior-to-be Chelsey Totten will return to lead a talented group of girls cross country runners and track and field athletes.

“We know we’re not leaving the cupboard bare,” Chris said. “There’s incredible talent. There’s the feeling that we didn’t want to leave those kids, but we know those kids have had enough success of their own and are good enough to keep it going.”

That was a major message conveyed to the kids, Rob said, the idea that the tradition of hard work and success would not leave even if the coaches did.

“They’re the ones who got up early,” Chris said. “They’re the ones that did the work. The program is bigger than us.”

The head coaching positions have been officially posted by the Golden Valley athletic department, and Rob said no specific successors have been identified as of yet.

The Evans brothers ran at Crescenta Valley High under their father, Mark, who also had to take a leave from coaching when his sons were born.

Rob will continue to teach at Golden Valley, where he serves as the chair of the English/Language Arts department.
He said he’s open to returning to coaching in the future but, for now, his focus is on family.

“It’s never easy to step away from something that you love,” Rob said. “It would have happened whether we won the state championship or finished last in league.”


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