It did not take Jacob Evans very long to make the decision to come to Eldon.
After playing football at Westminster University and spending one year as a student assistant, Evans worked as an assistant football and track and field coach at Versailles for three years before spending one season at Fulton last year. Over that time, he liked what he saw from Head Coach Shannon Jolley’s programs at Eldon in both football and track and field so when the opportunity came to be a part of that, Evans did not hesitate.
“I live 20 minutes away so it was nice to be able to coach somewhere close to home and I’ve always respected Coach Jolley and his program so it is nice to be a part of it,” Evans stated. “I’ve always kind of admired Shannon from a distance… I think the opportunity to learn under him is not something that a lot of people have gotten a chance to do so I am looking forward to that.”
However, the new linebacker and wide receiver coach said he has already noticed some of the effects of the football program firsthand in the short time he has worked with the Mustangs over the summer.
“There is a culture around the program that I have never been a part of and it is awesome,” Evans pointed out. “The kids are respectful and they work their tails off. I’m not saying anything negative about anybody else’s kids, but ours are special- all of them- and it is nice to be a part of it.”
One of the main things Evans has noticed is how coachable each kid seems to be.
“You walk in the door and it is ‘Yes sir’ or ‘No sir.’ They look you in the eye when you are speaking to them and you can instantly see them doing things in practice that we just worked on,” the coach remarked. “As a coach, that is pretty rewarding to know that they are instantly receptive to me being a new guy.
“These guys keep me young and I’m lucky to be able to coach them. It is rewarding in several different ways, but right off the top of my head that is the most obvious,” he added.
Along with eager and disciplined football players, Evans said he is also looking forward to working with an experienced coaching staff on the gridiron.
“Coach (Steve) Walker, Coach (Chad) Hult and the new guy Coach (Greg) Warlop are very knowledgeable and Warlop is an intelligent man that has been a college coach for several years at Pittsburgh State,” he noted. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot in just a very short amount of time this summer and moving forward I’m sure I’m going to continue to pick up little things here and there from all those guys.”
Then there is the opportunity to once again be a part of the Tri-County Conference where Evans will also be coaching his daughter’s softball team.
“I missed it while I was gone,” the coach said of his one-year hiatus from the conference. “I’m obviously looking forward to playing these guys at Versailles, but I like the competition and I think it is a great conference and one of the best in the state. Considering we are (Class) 3A, we can compete with just about anybody I feel like.”
Evans said he kind of takes things a year at a time, but looking ahead he is excited for what the Mustang chapter of his coaching career may have in store.
“I’m looking forward to making that place my home and being there for a while. I would like to spend as much time with Coach Jolley as possible and if he has some big shoes to fill there, maybe one of these days I could fill it. You never know,” he said.