SPOKANE, Wash. — The Gonzaga community is mourning after losing associate head baseball coach Danny Evans to stage four Melanoma over the weekend.
He was on Gonzaga’s staff for the last 19 years and prior to that played for GU from 2000-2003.
Needless to say, he touched countless young men’s lives.
“I always talk about being a good contributing member of society, and he probably made up for a 100 people. He was a great, kind, generous man,” said Mitchell Gunsulos, who played for GU from 2012-2015.
“Danny was a professional at everything he did,” said Payden Cawley-Lamb, who played for Gonzaga from 2011-2014. “Being the best dad, the best coach, you just knew he was going to put everything he had into what he was doing at that moment.”
Which means he was tough as nails as well.
So much so, that all the players who knew him never considered that they would have to say that they had known him.
“I never thought that this moment would come,” said Gunsolus. “I was like, well, he’ll fight, he’ll pull through, there’ll be some sort of trial, something will click, something will work.”
Danny’s life’s work was the Gonzaga baseball program—Literally.
The 41-year-old never worked for or played for another collegiate team.
The environment he cultivated throughout the years is now shining more than ever in his death.
“It’s been hard, first of all, but it’s been cool, because we’re all there to support each other. That’s because of the culture that he had a huge part in building within the program,” said Gunsolus. “In the time that he was here, he made an impact on so many young men’s lives. It’s tough to comprehend 20 years of being a coach and 35 guys a year on the team. That’s a lot of people that he had a large part in shaping who we’d become long after we were baseball players.”
That meant that the conversations between Danny and his players also continued long after their playing days.
“I got to talk to him a couple weeks back and told him that I loved him and told him that I was with him, and I could tell that he was giving everything he had,” said Cawley-Lamb.
It’s safe to say Mitchell speaks for all the players as to what they would say to Danny if they could talk to him right now.
“Dammit, like, why’d you have to go? I would tell him thank you for making me a better baseball player-- yes-- but more importantly having a huge role in shaping who I became as a person, as a husband, as a father. So yeah, thank you for everything would be what I would say.”
Danny is survived by his wife Kellie and two young children, Graham and Quinn. Service details have yet to be announced.