SPOKANE, Wash. — The Gonzaga community lost one of its own; Baseball associate head coach Danny Evans lost his battle with stage-four Melanoma cancer on April 24.
"He was just an amazing human. He poured himself into every relationship that he had," Sarah Michaelson, Evans' family friend, said. "It's our time to give back and put ourselves into their family when they need us."
Evans was loved by many and a "True Zag." After playing with the team, he spent 19 years as a coach for the Bulldogs. If there's one thing we know about the Gonzaga community, it's that it's tight-knit and they take care of their own.
"The special thing about Zags is that we all have each other's back all the time, it's a really special place," Michaelson said.
Michaelson is also a Zag. She played soccer at GU along with her husband, Brian, who is an assistant coach on the basketball team. They both went to school with Evans and have worked with him in the athletics department. After Evans's passing, Sarah found a way to have his family's back.
"I have a small business that's kind of sports-related, it's like sports home goods and I just really wanted a way that I could help the Evans family and kind of bring our Zag community together," Michaelson said.
Michaelson's business is called 'The Home Game,' she makes items such as planters, light fixtures and many other items, all with a sports twist to them. She then sells these items on Etsy.
All proceeds she makes from the shop throughout the month of May will be donated to the Evans family, and the word has begun to spread.
"A lot of people! I actually had like 24 orders in under a day. People just reaching out wanting to help, 'how can we help? How can we share it?' So, that was pretty amazing," Michaelson said.
It's a talent of Michaelson's that can help a family and rally a community around ones that they love.
"I don't want the focus on me or what I'm doing," Michaelson said. "But, I really am thankful that I have an avenue to be able to help and give back to them however we can."
Gonzaga baseball head coach, Mark Machtolf, said she is not surprised by the great support the Gonzaga community has shown for Evans.
"It doesn't surprise me about the Gonzaga community because I know what they are all about. The baseball community in general too has just been outstanding everywhere we go," Machtolf said. "It's humbling and it's really a tribute to Danny and what people thought of him and the respect that he generated."
People interested in purchasing an item from The Home Game to benefit the Evans family could visit The Home Game website.