SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After seven seasons and three state championships, Chad Stadem stepped down as Washington football coach in late May to become the first activities director at the new Jefferson High School. A few weeks later, in the midst of a pandemic, Ryan Evans was named the Warriors’ new head coach.
Ryan Evans spent 10 years as head coach at McCook Central/Montrose before making the move to Sioux Falls. He landed a job as an assistant at Washington prior to the 2019 season.
“I wasn’t necessarily coming here to be the head coach, but at the same time I’m excited and honored,” Washington head coach Ryan Evans said.
Evans says his decade in Salem prepared him well for Washington, where his organizational skills are coming in handy.
“You step into this atmosphere and you thank your past for being so organized before because there’s that many more moms and dads, and that many more players to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. So, communication, learning the ropes of communication was essential,” Washington head coach Ryan Evans said.
Evans replaces Chad Stadem, who shared this advice on his way out the door.
“It doesn’t matter what level you’re coaching, you’re still trying to make those relationships with the players and get them to be the best young men as possible,” Evans said.
Every coach experiences adversity during the course of a season, but Ryan Evans faces a unique challenge as a new head coach during a pandemic.
“Navigating through it is kind of unexplainable. We’re rolling with the punches as best we can, but the kids have really bought into everything and they want to play. They’re willing to do whatever it takes as far going through the precautions and making sure that everybody’s safe,” Evans said.
Evans says Washington has a tradition like no other and is eager to help the Warriors regain their championship form.
“A lot of it comes down to the little things we do each and every day. We gained our experience last year and our kids are excited for the future,” Evans said.
Washington is scheduled to open the regular season Friday, August 28th against Aberdeen Central.