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Paul Evans moves into his 27th season with the Bears, having come to Missouri State as pitching coach in 1989 after three years as head coach at Rend Lake College. Evans also serves as the recruiting coordinator for the baseball Bears.
Over the past nine seasons alone, Evans has coached three of the highest draft picks in MSU history, with Brett Sinkbeil going 19th overall in 2006, Ross Detwiler as the sixth overall pick in 2007, and Pierce Johnson as the 43rd overall pick in 2012. Detwiler made his major league debut with the Washington Nationals on Sept. 7, 2007, a mere 108 days after his final outing in a Bears' uniform.
In fact, Evans has coached four first-round pitchers in the last 13 seasons, including John Rheinecker as the 37th overall pick in 2001. A total of 56 hurlers have signed pro contracts under Evans' tutelage, with at least one in each of his 26 seasons and 10 advancing to the Major Leagues. Additionally, Evans has seen three Bears selected to pitch for Team USA: Jarrod Mays (1995), Bob Zimmermann (2001 and 2002) and Detwiler (2006).
In 2012, Evans guided a dominant Bears' pitching staff that posted the best team ERA (2.57) in the country, while ranking fifth in Division I with 537 strikeouts. Both marks shattered previous MSU team records, as did the Bears' 11 shutouts, which also led the nation. Additionally, Nick Petree netted numerous All-America honors, as well as the first national player of the year citation for a baseball Bear when Collegiate Baseball tabbed the Clinton, Mo., product its 2012 Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year after he finished 10-4 with the nation's lowest individual earned run average (1.01).
Prior to joining the Bears' coaching staff, Evans guided Rend Lake to a 201-95 mark in three years which included two Illinois juco sectional titles. Rend Lake missed the 1986 junior college World Series by one game.
A native of Granite City, Ill., Evans played football and baseball at South High School. He pitched his American Legion teams to back-to-back state runner-up finishes and had a 50-8 combined career record in high school and American Legion. He gained Illinois all-state honors in baseball while in high school and in 2000, he was inducted in the Granite City Sports Hall of Fame.
Evans was 18-7 at Southern Illinois before graduating from SIU in 1981. His 0.84 ERA as a sophomore was third in NCAA Division I and he tossed a no-hitter against SIU Edwardsville. Additonally, his nine career saves still rank sixth all-time at SIU.
Evans was head coach at Shawnee Junior College and assisted at RLC two years before becoming head coach. A Central Illinois Collegiate League and Cape Cod League hurler, he returned to Cape Cod in 1988 as pitching coach at Yarmouth-Dennis.
Evans has three children, Kyle, Kameron and Kassidy.