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Chargers have a new coach

LINDEN — Andrew Evertts is bringing a fresh sense of enthusiasm to North Montgomery.

“His energy is contagious,” athletic director Matt Merica said.

And it’s unmistakable as Evertts transitions into his new role as North Montgomery’s varsity boys basketball coach.

Merica announced the hiring Wednesday, pending school board approval at their meeting on Monday.

Evertts, who takes over for former coach Eric Danforth, spent the last four years at Mississinewa. He guided the Class 3A Indians to a 52-45 record during that time, including 16-9 this season. They reached the sectional championship for the second time during his tenure as head coach, losing to Marion 57-54 in the sectional final.

Evertts resigned last month after he and his wife, Susan, learned they would be expecting their first child in August. That prompted a search for a new home that led the couple to Montgomery County, which is positioned between his hometown of Angola and her hometown of Salem.

“We were very selective, I felt like,” Evertts said. “The biggest thing we were looking for was a great place to raise our family. We heard great things about the Crawfordsville area, I talked to a lot of people who had coached in the area, and I haven’t heard anything negative yet.”

Evertts will teach physical education and health at North Montgomery. His wife, Susan, is expected to fill a position teaching math at Northridge Middle School.

Merica said he received 33 applications for the head coaching job following Danforth’s resignation last month. He led the Chargers program the last two seasons.

Evertts was the candidate that stuck out the most.

Even at age 29, Evertts has already developed an accomplished resume. He landed his first head coaching job before even graduating from college, and also took on athletic director responsibilities not long after.

Evertts became the boys basketball coach at Medora in 2012 after graduating from Indiana University. He took the reigns of a boys basketball program that struggled so much to come up with wins that the 2013 documentary “Medora” was created based on the 2010-11 varsity team’s quest just to win a single game. It debuted prior to Evertts’ final season at Medora, a rural southern Indiana high school with fewer than 100 students. He also taught physical education and health, and served as athletic director during his two years there.

“I like the experience there when he was young,” Merica said. “He learned on the fly at a small school. And his overall record has improved every year that he’s coached.”

In four seasons at Mississinewa, Evertts took a team that went 6-17 and lost after one game in the sectional his first year and led them to three straight winning seasons, including back-to-back 16-win seasons each of the last two years.

Now he takes over a North Montgomery team that went 7-16 this winter and hasn’t won a Sagamore Conference game in two years. The Chargers were eliminated from the state tournament after one game in seven of the last nine years.

Evertts, however, is focused more on the program’s rich history.

“I know they’ve had a lot of success,” he said. “Inheriting a program that’s won 11 sectional championships, that’s huge. I know there’s some good tradition, I think it’s a good basketball job. I’ve watched some film on the guys and I like what they have returning as well.”

Evertts would also like to bring North Montgomery another sectional title. The last one came in 2009 at the end of a stretch with four sectional championships in five years.

That’s only part of what Evertts wants to accomplish while at North Montgomery.

“I have big plans,” he said. “But I’ve never really sat down and made a list of things I want to do. And, really, I don’t do that because I want to make sure I keep the right perspective. I’m here for the kids, and I just want to create good, young men who are going to be successful when they leave our program. That will be my No. 1 priority every year. But for selfish reasons, I want to win a lot of games, I want to win a lot of championships — I definitely want to be a state championship coach. I’m hopeful North Montgomery is the type of place where I can build a really good program. I know if you want to do something like that, you’re going to really have to invest some time into the school.”

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