POCATELLO — Sunny Evans was introduced Thursday in the Pocatello High Media Center as the school’s new head girls basketball coach.
After multiple stints as a coach at various levels, most recently working under former Highland High girls basketball head coach Tony Green, Evans gets her opportunity to run a varsity program.
Evans replaces Brock Gunter, who resigned in February following the 2018-19 season because of job-related reasons. Gunter was at the helm for five seasons, tallying a 38-82 record.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Evans said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted. I loved being an assistant coach. ... I’m looking forward to this. I feel like I’ve been biding my time for this opportunity.”
Evans has a deep coaching past, which began in 1999 as an assistant women’s basketball coach at Southern Utah University. Evans transitioned from player to coach after graduating in 1999. Evans also spent two seasons as a student-athlete at SUU, where she was a two-time all-conference selection.
Before Southern Utah, Evans spent two years at Dixie College, now Dixie State University.
Evans was Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 1996-97, a junior college All-American and a member of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame (class of 2008). She is second in single-season points with 548 points, according to her Hall of Fame biography.
“I’ll lean on my college experience,” Evans said. “If I knew then what I knew now, I’d approach the game differently. That is something I can pass on to the girls. This is the time of their lives, playing basketball and going to high school. I want them to understand that. I don’t want them to look back and say, ‘I should have played harder. I should have been a better teammate.’”
Evans — wife of former ISU men’s basketball coach Bill Evans — was also an assistant girls basketball coach and the girls freshman head coach at Utah’s Cedar City High. She also spent time at Loyola Sacred Heart High School in Montana as a girls varsity assistant coach and head girls junior varsity coach.
Sunny’s latest coaching experience was two seasons (2016-17, 2017-18) at Highland.
Sunny takes over a Poky program that hasn’t had a winning record or been to the 4A state tournament since the 2013-14 season, when the team placed third and finished with a 15-11 mark.
Since that campaign, Poky hasn’t won more than 12 games in a season and has three single-digit victory campaigns.
“Sunny has the game experience,” Pocatello High School Athletic Director Robert Parker said. “She has the coaching experience. She’s coached at all levels. She has that fire.
“There was something about Sunny that was like a gut feeling. Sunny feels like a great fit for Pocatello High School.”
Sunny, a counselor at Gate City Elementary, left an impression on Poky High’s leadership and was named head coach over two other finalists. She has the pedigree — a two-time state champion at Beaver High in Utah and an accomplished college student-athlete.
She has the coaching experience but has never been a head varsity coach. Sunny is ready for the challenge.
“I was really excited and scared, all of that is OK,” Sunny said of when she learned she was named head coach. “That means I want to do a good job, it’s important to me. I got a lot to learn, but I feel like I’ve got the knowledge behind me and we’ll be OK.”