The Waltrip High School baseball program has a recent rich history, but they will now be faced with continuing it with a new captain at the helm.
Per an announcement Tuesday afternoon, Waltrip head baseball coach Mike Evans will be leaving the Rams program to become the man in charge at St. Pius X High School. Evans leaves following five seasons as the head varsity baseball coach. He was awarded the Houston Area 4A Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010, and previously spent eight years as the assistant varsity baseball coach and one year as freshman head coach at Waltrip.
Lofty expectations abound at Waltrip with its strong baseball history, which can always present challenges for a newcomer. However, Evans took the expectations and ran with them, leading the Rams to the postseason in all five years at the helm, including two district titles.
“The team here has a strong history for years, and Coach Evans came in here and continued that success here for the last five seasons,” Waltrip Athletic Coordinator Todd Wright said. “We had a playoff team, kids came through here and went off to college and some in the pros. It’s been a great history, and Mike did a great job of continuing it, and building a part of it. There’s pressure on the next coach, because he’s done a wonderful job with the program.”
Wright praised Evans for his work ethic and dedication to the program, both on the field and within the school’s walls
“I never had to worry about anything baseball-related being done. His kids were coached year-round, and he always did a great job with the younger coaches in teaching them. [Mike] was always involved here, and in the hallways he was always involved with kids outside the field. He was a good, solid worker, and you never had to worry about him doing anything wrong.”
Such a dedication to responsibility and accountability, he said, was always reflected in how Evans’ athletes conducted themselves both on the field and in the classroom.
“His program showed that, because his kids were always well-dressed, well-mannered and grades were good, and then obviously, the results were very good,” Wright said. “It showed that kids wanted to be a part of baseball [at Waltrip], and that’s a direct reflection of his energy here at Waltrip.”
Evans, he said, truly invested in the school and the program beyond the wins and losses, contributing to an emerging cycle he says has led to a burning desire for kids to be part of the Ram baseball family.
“He was really invested in the kids, in the community and in our campus. His kids always did a great job fundraising, and they were always working to make the facilities better and give our kids the best equipment possible. They did a great job setting up a cycle where kids wanted to be at Waltrip.”
Though losing the beloved coach strikes a blow, Wright understands the process, and wished Evans all the best at St. Pius X.
“It’s part of the coaching world, and everyone has different ambitions. Where he’s going, I know he’s excited about his next challenge” he said.
At Waltrip, however, the beat must go on.
“We try to continually train young coaches so that when a head coach like myself or anyone leaves, we’ve got a good candidate pool on our campus,” Wright said. “There will be some disappointment, as always, but kids are resilient and when you get a new coach there’s a new energy around as well. The kids and parents will talk about it for a few days, and then get excited about the next coach.”