Q & A With Bruins Head Coach Mike Evans

Q: Academically, where do you see Bellevue University and the baseball program?

Evans: We care about our student-athletes as a whole. It’s just not about having them here to play ball and send them off when their eligibility is up. One thing we try to do here is if the guys want help then we’ll help them in their job search. People know that when they are looking to employ a former player of ours that they are going to be a hard work and be dedicated. We don’t always have the best students here when they arrive on campus, but we try to help them realize that they are getting an education through their athletic talents, and by the time they leave they are much more mature and have turned around their academics and are good students.

Q: What do you attribute this academic success to?

Evans: We have had excellent team overall grade point averages every year I’ve been here, given where some of the students came from academically, so that’s satisfying. We have had a lot of good people associated with the program that truly care about education. Dr. Judd Patton, our Baseball Academic Advisor, has been here since the start, and he has done an excellent job as have many others. We have policies here about attending class or running, we have a classroom dress code, we have rules about types of baseball gloves that using in here and we like to have our guys sitting front and center. Those things definitely help give some guidance to the guys.

Q: What’s one of your most memorable Bellevue baseball memories?

Evans: Well there are so many, but one that stands out would be my first year here in 1989. We are losing to Kearney St. at Rosenblatt Stadium in the State Championship game. We end up scoring 2 runs. Robbie Reed doubled down the right field line to score Tim Stutheit from 1st base to win the ballgame. That was really a tradition builder for us. We have been to Regional’s every year since then, it really takes a true program to accomplish that. The guys in here care about that tradition and won’t let tradition die.

Q: Who is your ideal Bellevue Bruin?

Evans: The ideal Bruin would be someone that knows of our tradition and that has dreamed and aspired of being a Bruin. Someone that sees the characteristics of past players and what they have accomplished, and that they want to be the next in line to have people want to follow in their footsteps. We don’t always have the most talented team, but I want the kind of guys that believe that he can be the best and will work hard towards being just that.

Q: How do you see this area as far as college athletics are concerned?

Evans: Omaha really is a college baseball town. We have the D1 World Series here every year which brings a lot of excitement to the city. There are no real big professional teams here in Nebraska so the college game is what people know. These people here take great pride in the local colleges and really back them when they see them playing on a national level.

Q: Starting here in 1989, what were some of the obstacles that had to be overcome in order to bring the success that has been seen year after year now?

Evans: One obstacle was instilling a belief that we could be the best. We didn’t want to put limitations on ourselves and what we could achieve. There are always obstacles though, but we try to not let them be obstacles and work even harder to overcome them. We really strive to turn struggles into success. Being where we are at the Bruins need to work even harder to stay at the top.

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