Krystle Evans rose from being a high-achieving student athlete to becoming an impactful administrator and coach for college athletic programs. Evans recently led the Academy of Art University women’s basketball team to the PacWest title game and the Division II NCAA tournament.
Evans also taught a class on the experience of the African American athlete in the media.
While being an assistant coach of the women’s program, Evans was the assistant athletic director of academics and admission liaison. In April 2019, she became the head coach of the Urban Knights women’s basketball team.
Since she became head coach, Evans has improved the winning record for the Urban Knights for the first time since the 2016-17 season. She mentioned how her experiences as a contending student athlete helped her as a coach.
During her years competing for the Crenshaw Cougars girls’ basketball team, Evans became a four-time All-League and All-City honoree and earned All-State honors as a senior. Injuries kept her from competing for her alma mater UCLA.
“You go from being one of the top point guards in the state, all these rankings throughout the country and then I end up tearing my ACL over and over and over again,” Evans said. “I had such a strong village of people … who just stayed in my ear about the difference between good and great is that the great ones keep going.”
She kept urging her players to stay the course, even when COVID-19 protocols and injuries reduced their roster to seven or eight players. It resulted in a seven-game win streak and a third place rank in the PacWest conference. The team also had six players earn Academic All-PacWest honors.
Prior to her stint with the Academy of Art, Evans worked as an assistant coach for the guard position for the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros women’s basketball team. She also worked as a compliance and academic liaison as well as in recruiting. She would ask her student-athletes what their plans are after their playing careers.
“That’s literally the main point that I instill in my young women and even my young men,” Evans said. “When you’re able to get people, not just athletes, to buy into being their best version of themselves, you’d be surprised how they’re willing to step up.”
Evans learned scouting and recruiting during her stint as a director of operations for the UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball team. Being mentored by head coach Bonnie Henrickson and by her Delta Sigma Theta Inc. sorority sisters aided her in her scouting.
From 2010-2015, Evans worked at L.A. Southwest College as an associate head coach. The community college feels like home for her, she learned lessons about having a sense of pride in South Central Los Angeles.
“This is the school that is going to pour light into the next generation of leaders, not just in this country, but particularly our community in South Central L.A.,” Evans said. “There’s not enough words to describe how honored I was to start my coaching career at the collegiate level in general at Southwest.”
During her high school years, a key mentor Evans had was the late LAUSD board member Marguerite LaMotte.
“That woman was a blessing to me,” Evans said. “She let me shadow her my entire senior year and four years at UCLA.”