Forest Grove's Evers calls it a career
Forest Grove boys basketball coach Greg Evers is calling it quits.
The Banks native and 31-year coaching veteran said this past season would be his last at the helm of the Vikings boys.
Forest Grove finished this season with a narrow loss to Southridge in the state's culminating week's Green Bracket and a 4-13 overall record. But while not the way he'd have preferred to go out, Evers said "it's time" after more than three decades coaching both the boys and girls teams at Forest Grove, Aloha, and Hillsboro high schools.
"I have known for a few years that I was coming to the end of my career, but ultimately, after the pandemic and all the issues with the last 15 months, I just wasn't looking forward to the potential requirements coming up next season," Evers said. "I'm tired, and I just wasn't looking forward to it next year and thought it would be better to do this sooner than later, and give the program a better chance to hire someone as soon as possible, to give the new coach as much time as possible to organize and plan for their program."
He will miss it. The former coach said that a few of the things he'll miss most are the relationships with the kids, from the youth level and up, along with game nights. While much of the hard work happens before and after games, it's the live action between the lines that made all of that hard work worth it.
"I am going to miss calling a game," he said. "The most fun part of my job is game nights and making calls throughout a game. Unfortunately that has become such a small part of the job because of all the things that go into being a director of a program. The stress of everything else has outweighed the adrenaline rush you get on those 20 to 25 nights a year."
Evers took his first varsity job as the girls coach at Hillsboro High School, but before that coached junior varsity at Aloha. Despite him being new to the job and leading a JV squad, he speaks highly of the experience.
"Those years were wonderful," he said. "Those girls were so good to me and we bonded so well, I just knew coaching basketball and especially coaching the girls was a great fit."
Hilhi was his first varsity job. Even now — despite working his tail-off — he says he could've been better. With that experience he went to Forest Grove where he coached the varsity girls team for nine seasons, winning three league titles, including back-to-back championships in 1999 and 2000. In addition to their league success, Evers' 2000 team qualified for the state tournament, and some of his favorite memories came from the following league title team consisting of leaders Rachel Aina, Lauren Sexton, Christina Stauber, Tracy Knowlton, and Jenna Gamble, who narrowly lost a state playoff game to Central Catholic which would've sent them to the state tournament.
"I will never forget it. It and it still gives me goose bumps, all the buses we took to Central Catholic and filled their stands," Evers said. "As our kids warmed up in layup lines, our crowd was screaming, 'This is OUR HOUSE.' It was electric."
Evers was named the boys varsity coach at Forest Grove for the 2010-11 season and slowly built a competitive Viking program. Over his 11 years at the helm, his teams made five state playoff appearances and boasted five first team all-conference players — including two who did so twice. His 2018-19 team won a school-record 19 games. He calls them his "most proud team."
But more than the wins and all-star players, what the coach cherishes most was the opportunity to coach his son.
"My greatest memories as FGHS boys basketball coach would have to be topped off by being able to coach Bailey," he said. "It was not always easy, but I loved to watch him shoot the ball and it provided many of my fondest memories, especially when he made a McMinnville player fall down near above the key and then hit a volleyball line 3 pointer on him. The bench reaction was something I will never forget."
What will he now do with all of his spare time? In addition to golf and work around the house, he said he'll enjoy watching the team from afar, but more importantly will spend more time with his wife and family, and pay a little more attention to himself.
"My new treadmill will get more work," he said. "Hopefully I can get into better shape."
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