HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Wasatch Academy Basketball Coach David Evans Steps Down, Paul Peterson To Take Over As Head Coach

Jun 11, 2020, 5:17 PM | Updated: Jun 12, 2020, 9:21 am
Head coach David Evans of Wasatch Academy reacts against Oak Hill Academy in the quarterfinal of th...
Head coach David Evans of Wasatch Academy reacts against Oak Hill Academy in the quarterfinal of the GEICO High School National Tournament at Christ the King High School on April 04, 2019 in Middle Village, New York. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Wasatch Academy announced that David Evans has stepped down as head coach. Associate head coach Paul Peterson will take over as the head coach of the Tigers.

Evans is stepping down to pursue other career opportunities.

“This is a great opportunity for Paul,” Evans said. “Paul Peterson and I have been close for over 10 years; we met when he was a freshman at BYU-Hawaii, and I’ve really liked who he is as a person ever since. For me, that’s the most important part of a coach.”

“He’s a giving individual who is always thinking about others. He’s also a great basketball mind, very good with X’s and O’s, and very good at putting people in position to be successful. He’s been training the top players in Utah for nearly a decade. This step is a natural step in his progression as a coach. I have no doubt that he’ll be successful.”

Peterson released the following statement on Thursday.

“I’m excited. I had a lot of things in my head that I wanted to do, and now I just need to calm down, don’t try to overcoach and just relax,” Peterson said. “I hope we are a really fast team. I want to get up and down the court. I want to lead the nation in scoring, be top-10 in defense, and be very disciplined in what we do.

“I would love to have respectful young men that win and lose with class and humility — and show respect for their opponents.”

A graduate of BYU-Hawaii, Peterson was an All-PacWest and All-NCAA West Regional honoree as a senior with the Seasiders before starting his professional career in Germany, England and Serbia. He later returned to Laie and helped coach his alma mater to the NCAA Division II national championship game in 2010-11.

In addition to his role with Wasatch Academy, Peterson has worked as a consultant to the Pleasant Grove High School boys’ basketball team during the Vikings’ three-straight trips to Utah’s Class 6A state tournament. Peterson has also worked as a skills trainer for former and current NBA players including Frank Jackson, Brandon Davies, Kyle Collinsworth, Eric Mika, George Hill, Mario Chalmers and Jimmer Fredette, among others.

Wasatch Academy returns a talented group of players for the 2020-21 season, headlined by five-star junior Richard “Pop Pop” Isaacs, Jr., who is the No. 4 point guard in the country by 247 Sports. Joining Isaacs is sharpshooter Brennan Rigsby, big man Fousseyni Traore, and Matus Hronsky, as well as newly signed Robbie Armbrester from Therrell High School in Atlanta.

The Tigers were 53-6 under Evans, including a 27-2 record in 2019-20 to finish ranked No. 2 in the country with a No. 2 seed in the GEICO National High School invitational that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am extremely appreciative to have worked with David for the past two years,” Wasatch Academy director of basketball Ty Kennedy said. “Dave is a talented individual and I know he will be successful in all of his endeavors. David elevated our program to the best season in program history and had us as legitimate contenders to win a national title. With Mady Sissoko’s injury prior to the start of the season, David was able to stay positive and make adjustments to lead our team to success … not easily accomplished when your best player is out for more than half the season. His hard work and dedication is unparalleled, and he will be missed.”

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