Anthony Evans, former head coach at Florida International and Norfolk State, has been named an assistant men’s basketball coach at Fordham University it was announced today by head coach Jeff Neubauer.
“Anthony Evans brings a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge to our basketball program,” said Neubauer. “His extensive background and his high basketball IQ will help our student-athletes and as a New York City native he brings a unique perspective to the program. I can’t wait to start working with Anthony as we get ready for the upcoming season.”
Evans served as head coach at FIU from 2013-2018 and at Norfolk State University from 2007-2013, amassing 164 wins in his eleven years as a head coach.
In his first season at the FIU helm, Evans led the Panthers to a 15-win season. FIU picked up a big 72-61 victory over cross-state rival and 2012 Sweet Sixteen squad Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 7 at FIU Arena. FIU earned seven Conference USA wins in its inaugural season in the league, including two victories over rival Florida Atlantic.
Evans coached Tymell Murphy to a Second-Team All-Conference USA honor for his play during the 2013-14 season. Murphy finished the year averaging 16.6 points-per-game (No. 4 in the conference) on 58.6 percent shooting from the floor (No. 4 in the conference; No. 18 nationally). Murphy scored 516 points, becoming just the sixth player in FIU history to score 500-or-more points in a season.
In 2014-15, the Panthers posted a 16-17 record and won their first-ever Conference USA Tournament game, defeating UTSA, 57-54, on a halfcourt shot by Dennis Mavin.
Evans saw two of his players earn All-Conference USA honors following the campaign. Mavin earned second team honors while Adrian Diaz was named to the All-C-USA Defensive Team. Diaz finished the year as the league leader in blocked shots per game (3.0 bpg) and was sixth in NCAA Division I in total blocked shots (99) and seventh in blocked shots per game.
During the 2015-16 campaign the Panthers posted a 13-19 record, however, dropped 12 games by six points or less, half of which came by three points or fewer. Before advancing to its second-straight Conference USA Tournament, FIU pulled impressive road wins at Western Kentucky and at UTEP during the season.
Diaz continued to one of the nation’s premier defensive threats under Evan’s direction, pacing C-USA – and finishing sixth nationally – in blocked shots (2.9 bpg). He also led the conference and was fifth in the nation in field goal shooting percentage (65.0 percent). For his efforts, Diaz was named All-Conference USA Second Team, and to the All-C-USA defensive team. Also, he was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 11 team and was invited to the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, widely considered an NBA’s pre-draft stage for the top 64 seniors in the country.
FIU boasted three of the top 25 scorers in C-USA during the 2016-17 campaign. Donte McGill was fourth in the league, averaging 18.3 points-per-game, while Michael Kessens (21st) netted 12.9 points- and Eric Nottage (25th) tallied 11.7 points-per-outing, respectively.
Evans arrived at FIU after spending six seasons as the head coach of the Norfolk State Spartans. During his time with the Spartans, Evans amassed a 99-94 record, including back-to-back, 20-win seasons (26-10 in 2011-12 & 21-12 in 2012-13) and an NCAA Tournament berth.
During the 2012-13 season, Evans led Norfolk State to an undefeated Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season mark (16-0) en route to being named the MEAC Coach of the Year and the team’s second-straight postseason berth with an automatic bid to the 2013 National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Evans was named a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award, presented to the top minority coach in Division I. He was also named a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award, presented to the top mid-major coach in Division I, and the Jim Phelan Award, presented to the top Division I coach.
A year earlier, Evans took the Spartans to new heights with the program’s first-ever Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title and perhaps the biggest upset in NCAA Tournament history. In the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Evans-led Spartans knocked off the No. 2 seed Missouri Tigers, 86-84, becoming the fifth No. 15 seed (at the time) to defeat a No. 2 seed, and the third MEAC school to accomplish the feat. No. 2-ranked Missouri became the highest ranked team ever to lose its first game of a NCAA Tournament since the field expanded to 64 teams, as NSU’s victory over the Big 12 Tournament Champion Tigers was nominated for “Best Upset” at the 2012 ESPY Awards.
During the summer of 2012, Kyle O’Quinn, an unheralded high school player out of Queens, N.Y., whose only Division I scholarship offer was from Evans, became the first Norfolk State player since 1988 to be drafted in the NBA after being selected by the Orlando Magic with the 49th overall pick. O’Quinn’s huge 2011-12 season saw him become the first MEAC player ever to win the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same year. He was also named the Lou Henson Award winner, given to the top mid-major player in the nation, as well as an AP All-America honorable mention.
The historic 2011-2012 season saw Evans himself bring home numerous awards. He was named the MEAC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Coach as well as the Clarence “Big House” Gaines Award winner, given out by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association to the top minority basketball coach in Division I. He also earned HBCU Coach of the Year honors from Boxtorow.com as well as Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Coach of the Year accolades.
In 2007-08, his first at the helm of the program, Evans guided the Spartans to just their second Division I winning season. The Spartans compiled a 16-15 overall record and finished 11-5 in MEAC play, at the time their most successful regular-season finish since joining the league. NSU also tied for second in the regular-season standings, another high-water mark for the program. NSU advanced to the MEAC Tournament semifinals before losing to eventual champion Coppin State. Evans capped his inaugural season by being named MEAC Co-Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
In 2008-09, NSU shook off a slow start to reach the MEAC title game. The Spartans rode an up-tempo offense and pressure defense to their first MEAC Tournament championship game appearance. Despite falling to Morgan State in the tournament final, the Spartans served notice that they deserved to be mentioned among the conference’s elite.
The 2009-10 Spartans finished the year at 9-7 in conference play. In 2010-11, the Spartans advanced to the MEAC Tournament semifinals for the third time in four seasons.
Evans served as an assistant at NSU for four seasons before taking over the head job in 2007. In that capacity, his duties included developing the backcourt players, scouting opponents and recruiting. Evans was instrumental in the recruitment of several of NSU’s top players. Included among them was a pair of 1,000-point scorers and All-MEAC players guards Tony Murphy and Corey Lyons. Murphy became the school’s first three-time All-MEAC player and departed as the program’s No. 7 all-time leading scorer.
Murphy and Lyons are just two of the players who earned conference accolades during Evans’ tenure at NSU. Murphy and fellow guard Michael Deloach were both two-time All-MEAC members during their careers, while O’Quinn earned three all-conference designations during his career and also earned NABC All-District honors in 2010-11. Also in 2011-12, Chris McEachin was voted to the All-MEAC Second Team.
Evans, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., was formerly the head coach at Delhi Tech in Delhi, N.Y., from 2001-03. His teams went 62-8, including two Region III titles and appearances in the National Junior College Association Division III Tournament. He was named District I Coach of the Year twice, and Region III Coach of the Year in 2002. Evans’ teams at Delhi garnered a No. 1 ranking at one point during both of his years there, and he coached a first-team All-American in 2002-03, and an honorable-mention All-American in 2001-02. Three of his former Delhi players went on to play at Division I schools.
Before his stint at Delhi, Evans also coached at Ulster County Community College in Kingston, N.Y., for two seasons. At Ulster, Evans’ team went 23-8 and was the Region XV runner-up in 2001. For his efforts, Evans was named the region’s Coach of the Year.
Evans earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from St. Thomas Aquinas (Sparkill, N.Y.) in 1994, where he played point guard for the Spartans. He is also a 1990 graduate of Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn.