The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Missouri Southern Sports

September 8, 2012

Kenny Evans returns to MSSU as RiverHawks' coach

Kenny Evans returns to Fred G. Hughes Stadium tonight, but he’ll be found in a different place.

Evans, defensive coordinator for the Lions from 1989-1997, is in his fifth year as head coach at Northeastern State, and the RiverHawks play Missouri Southern in the Lions’ home opener.

“It’s going to be an experience I never thought I would be involved in,” Evans said. “It’s going to be emotional. I’ll see a lot of friends, a lot of special people in my life.

“I’m looking forward to coming back to Joplin. I never thought it would be like this. It’s going to be fun, but it will also be different.”

Evans served as defensive coordinator for Jon Lantz at both Southeastern State and Missouri Southern.

He left Missouri Southern to become defensive coordinator and assistant head coach under Darrell Dickey at North Texas. He was named national assistant coach of the year by the Football Foundation in 2005.

After nine years at North Texas, he was defensive coordinator under Derek Dooley at Louisiana Tech in 2008 before taking the top position at Northeastern State.

After 10 consecutive losing seasons, the RiverHawks have posted winning records the last two years. The won the Lone Star North Division title in their last season in that conference in 2010, and they went 7-5 in 2011 as an independent.

Evans’ coaching career began at Miami (Okla.) High School in 1981, and his college coaching began as a graduate assistant under Barry Switzer at Oklahoma in 1982. During a 32-year coaching career that also included stops at Florida and Southeastern Oklahoma State, Evans has been a part of nine conference championship teams, two national playoffs and seven bowl games.

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