Lewis steps down, Evans is athletic director
Douglas High School will go through a shake up in its sports department next year – with a new boys basketball coach and a new athletic director.
After seven years as the Tigers’ boys basketball coach, Douglas coach Keith Lewis announced on Thursday he was resigning. In addition, Douglas vice principal Jeff Evans will take over as athletic director for Steve Wilcox, who is leaving the post after 31 years as an educator in Nevada.
Lewis posted an 81-102 record at Douglas and took the Tigers to the Northern 4A playoffs four times. His team went 10-18 this past season and advanced to the zone playoffs where it almost pulled off a first round upset against Reed.
“There’s several factors,” said Lewis about why he stepped down. “it wasn’t just one thing.”
Lewis said he would like to get into administration. “I’ve kind of been leaning that way,” he said.
Ironically, Lewis was one of two finalists for the athletic director’s position along with Evans. But Lewis said losing out on the athletic director’s job had nothing to do with his decision to step down as coach.
“It didn’t have any factor,” Lewis said. “It was just an indication where my interest was leaning. It’s just something I’ve been considering.”
Lewis also said he had no hard feelings about not being selected as athletic director. “I totally support Jeff,” he said. “Jeff and I have a great relationship. I could have coached under Jeff, no problem.”
But Lewis said that wouldn’t have been fair to his players or his family. He said the weekends and off seasons he had to take away from his family were taking their toll.
“I lost my passion I think for this,” he said. “It’s just too much work. The time’s right. I don’t think I could give the time or energy the kids deserve. It’s been a great ride.”
Lewis said he wanted to step down now to give the next coach plenty of time to prepare for next season.
With a strong sophomore class this year, including 6-10 Keith Olson, and a freshman team that had an outstanding season, Lewis said he believes he’s left the program with a strong foundation. He also noted junior programs and camps under his leadership should keep the program solid for the future.
“I think we’ve done a lot,” he said. “We’ve definitely left it in better shape. I definitely think it’s going to be a program that a lot of people are going to be interested in.”
It’s also a program that has become more on par with football and baseball, something that didn’t used to be the case at Douglas.
But Lewis did admit that he didn’t completely meet his own expectations and may have not met the expectations of others as well. “I know there’s people out there that don’t think that we did a good job,” he said.
Evans is in his first year at Douglas after spending the previous seven years at Carson. He has coached tennis, track and basketball in Las Vegas and Carson and spent the last 3 1/2 years as a dean of students at CHS before coming to Douglas.
He said the athletic director’s position will allow him to spend more time with students, although he added he’s enjoyed his first year at Douglas. “I’m excited about it,” said Evans about the athletic director’s job.
Evans also said he’s been fortunate to learn under Wilcox. “He’s been a wonderful mentor here to me at this high school,” Evans said.
“I can’t say enough great things about the guy. He’s just a great guy to work with. He’s a wealth of knowledge. He teaches me all kinds of things. There’s some big shoes to fill.”
The transition from rival schools, going to Douglas from Carson, has been smooth, Evans said.
“I bleed whatever color I work for,” he said. “I’ve got friends on both sides. I’ve kind of got the best of both worlds.”