Rogers adds Evans to A-State women’s basketball staff, promotes McNelis

Rudy Evans was hired Tuesday as Arkansas State women's basketball assistant coach.
Rudy Evans was hired Tuesday as Arkansas State women's basketball assistant coach.(Source: Marshall Athletics)
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 12:39 PM CDT|Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 8:49 PM CDT
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Arkansas State women’s basketball head coach Destinee Rogers announced Tuesday the addition of Rudy Evans to the Red Wolves’ staff as an assistant coach, as well as the promotion of assistant Connor McNelis to recruiting coordinator.

No stranger to the Sun Belt Conference, Evans joins Rogers’ staff after spending the last two seasons at Marshall. The Cleveland, Ohio, native spent one season as Director of Basketball Operations before being elevated to assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the 2022-23 season.

“I am so excited to have Rudy join our program,” Rogers said. “He checks all of the boxes and his contagious energy will spread through the entire program. He is a home-run hire and I can’t wait to get to work with him.”

Prior to his stint in Huntington, Evans spent the 2020-21 season at Notre Dame College as an assistant coach/director of player development. He also spent the 2019-20 season at Division-II Urbana University as the program’s top assistant, helping the Blue Knights enjoy their most successful season in four years.

Evans’ previous stops include three seasons at NAIA Lourdes University, as well as three years at his alma mater Berea College in Kentucky. There, he helped recruit five All-Americans and a conference Newcomer of the Year.

Evans also gained coaching experience through AAU teams and helping with the women’s program at Berea. He was head coach of the Kentucky Premier Women’s AAU team in 2015-16, helping a pair of student-athletes earn Division-I scholarships.

“I’m so excited to join the family here at Arkansas State,” Evans said. “The energy and excitement for the women’s basketball program is contagious and I’m ready to get to work with the staff. Wolves Up!”

Before entering the coaching profession, Evans enjoyed a stellar career at Cuyahoga Community College and Berea College. He scored over 1,000 points at Cuyahoga en route to NJCAA All-America Honorable Mention and moved on to score the most points in a two-year span at Berea, where he earned all-conference honors in 2010 and 2011.

McNelis has spent the last two seasons at A-State after joining the program in October 2021 and is now set to oversee the program’s recruiting operations in addition to his existing role as assistant coach.

“I am excited to promote Connor to recruiting coordinator,” Rogers said. “He’s been with me through the whole process of going from Associate Head Coach to Head Coach. I am excited to continue our unfinished business together and looking forward to his continued success in our program.”

The Hattiesburg, Miss., native came to A-State following stints at Nicholls (2019-21), Florida Atlantic (2017-19) and Southern Miss (2014-17).

“I’m truly grateful for this opportunity,” McNelis said. “I really appreciate (Coach Rogers) in trusting me to fulfill this role. I’m very excited with the team we’ve put together and am looking forward to a great year!”