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2011-12 Signal Sports Awards Coach of the Year: Rob & Chris Evans - Golden Valley Cross Country

Posted: July 6, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 6, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Rob and Chris Evans guided the Golden Valley boys cross country to program-first Foothill League title, CIF-SS Div. II title and CIF Division II state title and the boys track and field team to a co-Foothilll title, also a first in school history.


In all honesty, you could make the argument that Rob and Chris Evans have deserved The Signal’s Coach of the Year award in each of the past three years.

The way they’ve transformed the mindset at a school with a checkered athletic history, leading the cross country and track and field programs to state-level heights, has been nothing short of outstanding.

It’s not their fault that Rene Paragas, who coaches the same sports, has been rewriting the record books over at Saugus the past few years.

It is their fault, however, that Golden Valley has become a self-sustaining cross country and track and field force.

The 2011 boys cross country season was one big wave of firsts. The Grizzlies won the first team Foothill League title in program history on Nov. 3, followed by the first CIF-Southern Section title in school history on Nov. 19 at Mt. San Antonio College.

The wave crested at the CIF State Cross Country Championships on Nov. 26, when Golden Valley made mincemeat of the Division II field and reigned supreme with the school’s first state championship.

Ironically, of all the teams the Evans brothers have coached, this was the one that needed coaching the least. The boys themselves got together in the wee hours of the morning to go on lengthy runs. The boys themselves sacrificed junk food and soda so the team as the whole would run faster.

Don’t think for a second, however, that demeans the Evans brothers’ impact. This past boys cross country season is a testament to the culture they’ve instilled, the belief they’ve cultivated, the commitment they’ve drilled into the heads of countless Golden Valley athletes.

And not just boys cross country runners.

During track and field season, the Evans brothers guided the boys team to a share of its first Foothill League title, while the girls finished second after traveling to Canyon on the final day of the regular season for a winner-take-all dual meet.

Individually, the track and field teams produced three Foothill League champions, six CIF-SS Div. II finalists and 15 total postseason athletes, with several school records falling along the way.

The CIF finalists included senior distance runners Kristian Martinez and Juan David Garcia — also the top two cross country runners — and junior distance runner Chelsey Totten, who had finished fourth in the league in cross country and advanced to the Southern Section finals.

That’s the kind of growth pattern the Evans brothers have implemented at Golden Valley. The training and success during each season feeds into the next.

Once the momentum had been firmly established, the Evans brothers decided that the conclusion of the 2011-12 school year was as good a time as any to step down. Rob has a young child at home. Chris decided to pursue other coaching opportunities.

They may have left the programs they built from the ground up, but their impact will likely remain at Golden Valley for awhile, if not forever.

With all the Evans brothers have given the kids and the school, it seems like giving them The Signal’s Coach of the Year award is the least we could do.


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