Coach of the Year Semifinalist, Coach Carl Evans

Coach Carl Evans: Jr. NBA Coach of the Year Nominee

by Taylor Geas

Lakers Family, meet Coach Carl Evans of Skirball Middle School in Los Angeles. After his 14 years of serving the Watts community, the Lakers are proud to celebrate his time and commitment to Los Angeles’ youth and nominate him as the Jr. NBA Coach of the Year.

Coach Carl sees sports as more than just a physical act — much more. He understands the profound impact sports have on society, especially that of our youth. Sport transforms doubt into discipline, self-consciousness into conviction. “Sports brings stuff out in you that you didn’t realize you had,” Coach Carl said, “you become yourself.”

After a successful stint of coaching girls' basketball and earning his degree in kinesiology, Coach Carl was hired as the physical education teacher at Skirball Middle School. Upon his arrival, he realized there were no competitive sports. He worked with the administration and the After School All-Stars of Los Angeles to create Skirball’s first-ever sports program.

By day he teaches P.E. and by early evening he coaches multiple sports and is the Athletic Director at the junior high. His hours of operation are always 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. and his weekends are filled with games. He says there is an unspoken bond of respect between him and his students and players. “I just be me. I’ll do whatever I need to do for them, so they’ll do whatever they need to do for me,” Coach Carl said.

The middle school doesn’t have a sports field, but there is a park a little more than a mile away. Coach Carl walks there three times a day, each time with a different group of 50 students. He said the walk teaches them structure and discipline as they walk in pairs. But it also establishes trust between him and them. “The walk is how I get to know these kids,” he said.

Because Skirball is without their own field and regulation court, Coach Carl contacts fellow middle schools around the area to organize games so his teams can compete. Not only compete, he wants his students to experience the raw emotions of competition.

With the help of the After School All-Stars, Skirball’s Program Coordinator, Lakeisha Ford, and the Watts community, Coach Carl has even made it a priority to host sports banquets at the end of each season, complete with trophies and taco trucks. He said it’s important to him to “reward the kids for their hard work throughout the season.” And it’s important to him to expose them to every facet of sports.

Coach Carl hopes that when his students leave Skirball Middle School “They’re not scared to join any team at whichever high school they attend.” To instill this kind of confidence, his curriculum is extremely verbose. His students have been introduced to futsal, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, and even cricket.

Additionally, Coach Carl has a major focus on empowering young female athletes. He diligently works to find different ways to get young girls involved in sports. He’s instituted a culture of support among all his students and has implemented a girls' basketball, volleyball, and flag football team at Skirball. He mentioned how he is so “glad the Olympics are coming to LA so young girls can see more sports outside of what they know and spark their interest.” He ended the conversation by saying, “Once girls get into sports, they are unstoppable.”

This nomination came as a huge surprise to Coach Carl. He said how appreciative he is to be recognized and that he hopes to continue building the athletic and P.E. programs at the school. And he hopes to continue recruiting more female athletes.

During his time at Skirball, Coach Carl has created a huge community of inspiration, “a full circle within the community,” as he puts it. His nomination is a reminder to all the magnitude one person can administer through sport on a student, a student body, and an entire community.

Coach Carl has used sport to uplift the city. And his plans aren’t slowing down. Let’s celebrate him and support his efforts, vote here or retweet the social post on our channels using the hashtag: #JrNBACOYLAL

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