HERSHEY, Pa. – Andy Evanko, the late Curwensville head football coach, and A-C Valley graduate Rick Foust will both be inducted into the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Coaches Hall of Fame.
The induction will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 30, at the Best Western Premier in Harrisburg, Pa.
Evanko, who passed away June 5, 2019, after a long battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He coached Curwensville from 2000-2018 helping the Golden Tide to a record of 150-63 (70.4 percent) while winning three District 9 Class 1A titles (2000, 2004, 2010) and finishing second in Class 1A three times (2001, 2006, 2018). He was named the District 9 Coach of the Year in 2004 when Curwensville advanced to the PIAA Class 1A semifinals.
A graduate of Curwensville High School and Dickinson College, he coached junior high football and was a varsity assistant coach for 16 years before taking over the Golden Tide in 2000. That year, he led Curwensville to its first undefeated regular season in 42 years, won the AML title and the District 9 Class 1A championship – the Tide upset heavily favored Clarion in a game they dominated from start to finish. Curwensville made the District 9 playoffs in 17 of his 19 years as head coach, including 15 in a row to close out his coaching career.
He had 15 players named to the Associated Press/PA Sports Writers All-State team and had two District 9 Players of the Year (Nate Sipes in 2004 and Nick Sipes in 2006). In addition, he had one District 9 Defensive Player of the Year (Brad Sopic in 2004), two District 9 Rookies of the Year (Doug Swatsworth in 2002 and Nick Stewart in 2014), and four District 9 Offensive Lineman of the Year (Sean Farley and Sopic in 2004, J.D. Skebo in 2005, and Jonathan Michaels in 2009. The four Offensive Lineman awards are the second-most among any school in District 9 since the inception of the award in 2002.
Evanko’s teams were known for their ground-and-pound style, and he coached the top three all-time leading rushers in District 9 history (Stewart, 7,324 yards), Nick Sipes (5,963 yards) and Alex Holland (5,734 yards) and his running backs hold five of the top eight single-season rushing marks in D9 history (Holland No. 2 – 2,600 in 2010 & No. 6 – 2,334 in 2011; Nate Sipes No. 3 – 2,511 in 2004; Zach Tibbens No. 5 – 2,345 in 2013; and Stewart No. 8 – 2,032 in 2016).
Presented with the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame “Lifetime Achievement Award”, Evanko also received the Central Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association “Hall of Fame Award” in 2005. The Central Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association – Lezzer Lumber Football Classic – North Coach of the Year twice. The “Progress News” Coach of the Year in three times. The “Tri-County Sunday/Courier Express” Coach of the Year three times, and the Allegheny Mountain League – South / Coach of the Year twice.
Foust, is a 1968 graduate of A-C Valley High School and a 1972 graduate of Clarion State College (now Clarion University. He is the older brother of Barry Foust and Rob Foust. Barry Foust was the assistant coach for the A-C Valley boys’ basketball team this past season and is the former Keystone girls’ basketball coach and assistant coach at Franklin. Rob was a former assistant coach for Jim Marron when Marron was the boys’ coach at A-C Valley.
Ge started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Alliance High School in Alliance, Ohio, and was an assistant coach there from 1972-80 and was named Teacher of the Year in 1978.
Moving on to Homer-Center High School in Homer City, Pa., in 1980, he was the head coach for 18 years and won 101 games, including a pair of District 6 championships and numerous Heritage Conference Championships. His 1994 squad advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals.
During his career, Foust was named Coach of the Year in the Heritage Conference, the Indiana Gazette Coach of the Year, and the Blairsville Dispatch Coach of the Year. He is a member of the Indiana County Sports Hall of Fame.
His son, Eric, is the head coach at Shippensburg High School, and Rick has been a member of his coaching staff since 2008, currently serving as the defensive coordinator.
Evanko and Foust are Two of 10 inductees this year – the largest class ever after the 2020 ceremony had to be canceled because of COVID-19.
He will be joined by fellow inductees George Curry, Mickey Minnich, Steve Schein, Ken Salem, Robert (Bob) B. Stem, Guy Montecalvo, Al Wolski, and Robert Barbieri.
Evanko and Foust are part of a long-time of coaches with District 9 ties to be inducted into the PFSCA Coaches Hall of Fame. That list includes (but may not be limited to) Redbank Valley’s Dave Moore (Class of 2019), Clearfield, Danville, and Titusville’s John Wiley, East Brady and Seneca Valley’s Terry Henry (Class of 2017), Brockway’s Ray Reckner (Class of 2014), Clarion and Ridgway’s Norm Zwald (Class of 2014), Clearfield’s Tim Janocko (Class of 2013), Clarion’s Larry Wiser (2011), Coudersport’s Paul Simcoe (Class of 2008), Punxsutawney, Slatington, McCaskey, and Elizabethtown’s Jack Cassebaum (Class of 2008), Ridgway’s Mile Dominick (Class of 2007), Smethport’s Carl Defillippi (Class of 2006), Clarion-Limestone, Slippery Rock, and Butler’s Clyde Conti (Class of 2005), Union’s Rich Vidunas (Class of 2003), Brockway/Steelton/Williamsport’s Steve Torretti (Class of 1996), East Brady, Kane, Indiana’s Bernie McQuown (Class of 1993), Brockway’s Charles Zoffuto (Class of 1989), Clarion, Coudersport, Punxsutawney, Franklin, Philipsburg-Osceola’s Robert Moore (Class of 1988), Bradford/Knox’s Bob Plug (Class of 1987), and Reynoldsville, Reynoldsville-Sykesville, Central-Martinsburg’s Harry Clarke (Class of 1986). Curwensville graduate Terry Verrelli, the long-time head coach at Wilmington, was also inducted in 2012. Bob Williams, who started his coaching career at Kane before moving on to Greensburg Salem, was inducted in 2003.
More information on this year’s Hall of Fame Class can be found here.