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One who knows that all too well is former Arizona State basketball coach Evans, now the associate head coach at the University of North Texas. As the coach of the University of Mississippi Rebels from 1992-98, he found that other schools often used the flag as a recruiting tool to steer prospects away from his program. Evans was at a Mississippi football game when a fan dropped a confederate flag. It landed right in front of the African-American basketball recruit he was hosting. "He picked it up and handed it back to them," he said. That's an experience not written about in the how-to-recruit coaching manual. If there was a man to handle the delicate subject, it was Evans. As a young basketball assistant for New Mexico State, Evans used to recruit Mississippi beginning in the late 1960s. He could stay only at hotels owned by Blacks, and avoided traveling at night to be safe. Two decades later, he became the school's first African-American basketball coach and turned around the program. It secured its first Associated Press Top 25 ranking under him and landed in the NCAA Tournament twice after having made only one appearance in school history. During his six seasons, Evans successfully maneuvered the challenging landscape. During recruiting trips, he would bring up the Confederate flag before an athlete's parent had a chance to address it. When interviewed, he often was asked how he felt about the Confederate flag or "Dixie," a song often considered the anthem of the Confederacy that is played during Mississippi football games. He would express his opinion while acknowledging it meant different things to different people. His two children attended the university and his son, Damon, who still resides in the Valley, was one of the first African-Americans to be accepted into the school's Sigma Chi fraternity. Overall, Evans said, he found the Oxford, Miss., community warm and welcoming to his family. Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/2015/06/24/confederate-flag-debate-sports-world-andre-ellington-rob-evans/29229417/
DENTON — Tony Benford is in his first year as the head basketball coach at the University of North Texas. So is his associate head coach, Rob Evans. Between them, they have a combined 60 years of college coaching experience. "You know, we've experienced it all," Evans said. "So when we see something that happens, we probably saw it before it happened." "He's just a great ambassador for us here at North Texas," Benford said about his colleague. "I tell my players, 'Guys, you are very lucky and fortunate to have somebody with Coach Evans' knowledge on our staff." Benford and Evans have a relationship that goes back to the 1980s, when Evans helped recruit Benford at Texas Tech. Both are from Hobbs, New Mexico. "It was a big time Hobbs connection," Benford said. "I tell you what — Coach Evans, he was the best recruiter for football and basketball back in the day when he was at Texas Tech." read more: http://www.wfaa.com/sports/college/At-North-Texas-coaching-is-all-in-the-family-187044931.html
UNT picked up another commitment under new head coach Tony Benford late this week when Anthony Norris decided to play for the Mean Green after one final year at Midland College. What is interesting about Norris is that he is a player with a high ceiling, one he has yet to reach. Norris is 6-7 combo forward who can shoot the ball and play on the wing. Those guys don’t grow on trees. There is a reason Norris was committed to Memphis before he had a few bad months on the summer circuit and ended up back on the market. By all accounts, Norris has a ton of talent, and he just so happens to be family friends with Benford and assistant coach Rob Evans. All three of from the basketball hotbed of Hobbs, N.M. Benford will likely have six spots in his next recruiting class. Taking Norris was about as big a no-brainer in recruiting as one is ever going to see. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2012/06/are-we-seeing-a-trend-emerge-with-unts-new-basketball-staff.html/