If the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame ever permits induction of an individual into both the player and builder categories, Dave Evans would be front and centre to receive the honours.
Throughout his extensive playing career, from the minors to the seniors and pro levels, the personable one-time netminder has had a love affair with the game of lacrosse, be it the field or box variety.
And the passion still burns brightly.
Dave began playing lacrosse at the age of 13 in the Burnaby Minor lacrosse system, leading his team to the 1966 provincial Midget title. The next two year were spent at the Junior “B” level where he was twice placed on the first all-star squad and named the league’s most valuable player.
His all-star and MVP awards continued in the following three seasons in the Junior “A” division, toiling for the fame Burnaby Cablevision.
Then, in 1972, he joined the Vancouver Burrards to share netminding duties with veteran . The combination drove opponents to total distraction. Hammie was the traditional-type goalie, cutting down angles and outthinking frustrated shooters while Evans relied heavily on his incredibly quick reflexes. It wasn’t unusual for them to switch places between the bench and the goal a half dozen times a game.
Although just a 22-year-old rookie, Dave was already deeply involved in extra curricular lacrosse activity, coaching a minor league team, refereeing, conducting numerous clinics, and acting as an executive member of the North Burnaby Officials Association. As a matter of fact, the BCLA named him Referee-of-the-Year in 1973.
Dave’s spectacular reflex save – flopping, twisting, spinning like a dervish – excited the crowds but they also played havoc on his wonky knees. Four of his 11 senior seasons – 10 with the Burrards of the WLA and one with Montreal Quebecois of the pro National Lacrosse League – saw him hobble to a mere 19 total games.
But, oh those other seven years: top goalie awards in the 1973 WLA and 1975 NLL Leagues; WLA playoff MVP in 1973 and 1977; the Maitland Trophy winner for value to his team, sportsmanship and contribution to minor lacrosse in 1973, 1977, 1980 and 1981, three all-star ratings and a Mann Cup ring in 1977. In 256 senior games, Dave registered an outstanding 76.1 per cent shot-saved average and chipped in with 175 assists.
However, the knees gave up the battle in 1982; but this only provided Dave with more time to expand his already hectic involvement in all aspects of the game.
His coaching credentials are incredible:
|Three Canadian Senior Women Box Lacrosse titles
|Spent two months in Australia coaching players in preparation for the Nationals ’80 World tournament
|Assistant coach of the Canadian National Women’s Field lacrosse team, bronze medallist at the World Field Lacrosse tournament
|Head coach of the provincial women’s field lacrosse rep team that captured seven Canadian title
|Head coach of the Canadian National women’s team, fourth place finishers at the World Field lacrosse tournament
|Coach of the Vancouver Burrards; 1987 WLA Coach of the Year.
|Head coach of Philadelphia Wings of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL), winning two league titles and the 1992 Coach of the Year
|Interim Vancouver Burrards coach
|Assistant coach Burnaby Lakers of the WLA
|Head coach of the North Shore Indians (WLA)
But waitâ€¦there’s more. Dave also served the Burrards as general manager between 1983 and 1986, winning the WLA Executive of the Year Award in 1985.
So, what, you may ask, is Evans doing as the game nears the Millennium? Well, to list some of his chores, he serves as a Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Governor and is the chairman of the Hall’s Player Selection Committee; director of the Burrards Alumni Association; director of scouting for the Philadelphia Wings, and is the television colour commentator for the WLA Game of the Week on SportsNet.
Dave was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1995 as a player but, as you can see, that’s just half the story.