Mark S. Evans
When goalies at Phillips Exeter Academy get their instruction, they know they’re being taught by a guy who’s seen first-hand what they’re doing – and has done it well.
Evans went from a walk-on to a starting goalie during his days at the University of New Hampshire in the 1970s, playing for coach Charlie Holt and with teammates like John Fontas, Bruce Crowder, Bobby Miller, Frank Roy, Cecil Luckern, John Corriveau, Cap Raeder, Bob Blood and Rod Langway.
During his UNH days he played a total of 53 regular-season games. As a senior, he made a program-record 808 saves (since topped by Greg Moffet); received the Roger LeClerc Award, which is voted by the players for the team’s MVP; was named Most Improved Player. Evans is believed to be the only player in program history to go from a walk-on to team MVP by the time his career was finished.
After graduation, he went on to play for the Cape Cod/New Hampshire Freedoms and Manchester Blackhawks of the NEHL, and the Erie Blades and Richmond Rifles of the EHL.
As a professional, he was invited to three preseason NHL training camps – the Edmonton Oilers, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins. He eventually moved on to Europe, playing for Club HieloJaca for the Spanish National League as one of the two allowed imports for the team during the 1982-83 season.
Growing up in Freedom, N.H., and Cape Cod, and traveling a lot with his father serving in the Air Force, Evans began playing hockey at a young age, following in the footsteps of his older brother and father. He enrolled at Brewster Academy to play for legendary coach Pop Whalen, and followed Whalen to Berwick Academy when Brewster cut hockey from its athletic budget.
He was the first-string goalie for three years, leading his team to a Northeast Junior A championship. Among his teammates was future Olympic hero Mike Eruzione, who was attending for a postgraduate year.
For the past 15 years, Evans has been the goalie coach at Phillips Exeter Academy, helping the program win a New England championship in 1999. All three of his children played hockey at Exeter High School and he has also devoted time to coaching youth hockey with New Hampshire East.