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April 15, 2013

New Hire: Garcia hires NSU's Anthony Evans

FIU Athletic Director Pete Garcia hired Norfolk State's Anthony Evans. Garcia and the FIU Athletic Department will hold a press conference to introduce Anthony Evans as the school's eighth head coach of the men's basketball program on Tuesday, April 16. The press conference, featuring Garcia and Evans, will take place at U.S. Century Bank Arena.

Below is Evans Bio:

Finished coaching his sixth year leading the Norfolk State men's basketball program in 2012-13, head coach Anthony Evans has taken the program to new heights during those first five years, capped by a MEAC Championship in 2012 and perhaps the biggest win in NSU and NCAA tournament history.

A senior-led squad defeated Howard, Florida A&M and then Bethune-Cookman, 73-70, at the 2012 MEAC Championship to capture the first-ever conference title for the men's program since moving into the MEAC and Division I in 1997. NSU was not done, though, as the No. 15 seed Spartans pulled off one of the biggest upsets ever in NCAA tournament history just six days later.

Facing No. 2 seed Missouri - a team several experts believed would advance to the Final Four and could have been a No. 1 seed - in a West Region matchup on March 16, NSU used its size advantage and a huge game from senior center Kyle O'Quinn to shock the Tigers and the nation in an 86-84 upset in the NCAA second round.

The Spartans became the fifth No. 15 seed (at the time) to defeat a No. 2 seed and the third MEAC school to accomplish the feat. No. 3-ranked Missouri became the highest ranked team to ever lose its first game of an NCAA tournament since the field expanded to 64. The victory over the Big 12 tournament champion Tigers was nominated for "Best Upset" at the 2012 ESPY Awards.

Later on in the summer of 2012, O'Quinn, an unheralded high school player out of Queens, N.Y., whose only D-I scholarship offer was from NSU, was selected by the Orlando Magic with the 49th overall pick in the NBA Draft. No Spartan basketball player had been drafted since 1988, and no MEAC player had heard his name called either since 1998.

A historic 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.

As a result of the team's unparalleled success, Evans, now in his 10th year overall on the Spartan coaching staff, was rewarded with a contract extension in June of 2012 that will keep him with NSU through the 2016-17 season.

The 26-10 campaign in 2011-12 now stands as the best record ever for NSU during the D-I years, as does the Spartans' 13-3 conference record. It marked the most overall wins since the 1994-95 season and the most conference victories since 1995-96. In addition, it kept alive NSU's streak of finishing .500 or better in conference play, a streak that began in 1991-92 and includes every year in the MEAC except for a first-season transitional year.

His overall record at NSU now stands at 78-82 in five seasons, with a 50-30 MEAC record during that time.

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.

O'Quinn was also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 15 first team and later earned MVP honors at the Portsmouth Invitational prior to hearing his name called in the NBA Draft.

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 cusp of its first-ever MEAC title. 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 deserve to be mentioned among the conference's elite.

The 2009-10 Spartans finished the year at 9-7 in conference play. And 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 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 have earned conference accolades during Evans' tenure at NSU. Murphy and fellow guard Michael Deloach were both two-time All-MEAC members during their careers. O'Quinn earned three all-conference designations during his career and also earned NABC All-District honors in 2010-11. Also in 2011-12, senior 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 District I Coach of the Year twice, and Region III Coach of the Year in 2002. His teams at Delhi garnered a No. 1 ranking at one point during both of his years there.

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 played at Division I schools.

Evans also coached at Ulster County Community College in Kingston, N.Y., for two seasons before his stint at Delhi. At Ulster, Evans' team went 23-8 and was the Region XV runner-up in 2001, when he was named the region's Coach of the Year.

Evans earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from St. Thomas Aquinas in 1994. He played guard for Aquinas, also known as the Spartans.

VIA NSU's Basketball Page

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