University of Maine men’s soccer coach Travers Evans suffered through an 0-17 season this fall with a young, inexperienced and injury-plagued team.
But he said his desire to spend more time with his family was the primary reason he has resigned after seven seasons at the helm. He compiled a 22-80-13 record but the program is one of, if not the most, under-funded in America East.
Maine had 3.5 scholarships this fall – it had 2.5 when Evans started – while most other America East programs either had the full NCAA allotment of 9.9 or were close to that amount.
“It was a hard season, but that wasn’t the tell-all reason for making the decision. I received great support from the administration at Maine. They were very supportive of me coming back. But, at this juncture, there were other opportunities for me and it was time to move on,” said Evans, the 2003 America East coach of the year. “It was something my wife [Johanna] and I have wrestled with for a couple of years.”
The 35-year-old Evans explained that he and his wife put in long hours in their respective jobs and that takes away from their time with their two children, 4-year-old son Riley and 2-year-old daughter Taylor.
His wife works for the engineering firm of Olver Associates in Winterport.
“At some point, we had to make a change. I was offered a job with an insurance and annuities firm in Bangor and I’m going to take it,” said Evans, who was an assistant coach for four years at Maine.
Maine athletic director Blake James said Evans, “did a great job. He was a great asset to our athletic program. He will be missed.”
Evans said there were “a lot of obstacles to overcome but I feel good about my tenure. We saved the program after [the school] looked at eliminating it. In 2003, we made the America East tournament for the first time in 10 years.”
He said he was honored to work with “so many great student-athletes. The most satisfying thing was we put a lot of great people out into the world and a lot of them are very successful.”
Evans will continue as president of the Blackbear United soccer club for youngsters in the area ages 5-18. He and M.J. Ball founded the club five years ago. He is also a coach.
“We’ve improved the level of play in the area and that’s something we’re very proud of,” said Evans.
The Maine job is an attractive one, according to Evans, who noted that America East has mandated that the scholarships must expand to 5.75 next year, 6.5 in 2008, and 7.5 in 2009.
“The new coach will have an opportunity to make a real impact,” said Evans.