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Brian Evans has been hired as the girls' varsity basketball coach at Anaconda High School, athletic director Allen Green announced on Tuesday.

Evans will replace Chris Stetzner, who coached the Lady Copperheads for the past two seasons.

“I’ve been wanting to be a head coach for the last five or six years,” Evans said. “As soon as I moved here, I’ve wanted to be a head coach.”

Evans, 26, played basketball at Helena High School but has since done some coaching with middle school and high school programs in the Bozeman area.

A middle-school teacher in Anaconda, Evans saw Stetzner’s departure as a perfect opportunity in which to try and become the head coach of a varsity program.

Evans is aware of the struggles of the Copperheads program of late but hopes that a strong summer program will get things moving in the right direction.

The Copperheads compiled a record of 8-29 in their two seasons under Stetzner, and were 29-34 under their previous coach, Jessica Shanafelt.

“They’ve had some tough years in the past so I’m going to have to change the whole culture and get some winning seasons,” Evans said. “I know we’ll get some good young girls coming up so it’s important that we get a good summer program going.”

Evans plans to get the word out, once the track and softball seasons conclude this weekend, so that players interested in becoming part of the program can start taking advantage of the open-gym hours.

“I believe that a strong summer program is important,” he said. “Fundamentals are huge. One of the biggest issues the last couple of years has been with players missing shots, so we’ll spend a lot of time playing and shooting and on player-development.”

Evans might have a head start in that area. He has already been spending time in the gym working with some of the players and has noticed an increase in the number of participants. Adding softball and track athletes will make things that much better.

“I’ve kind of been at the open gyms for the last three months,” he said. “It started with middle-school girls and a few of the high-school girls have started coming on their own. I’ve been working with girls starting at sixth grade up to juniors in high school.

“Hopefully we can have a camp this summer and I’ll let the girls know about tournaments. This is something I’m definitely passionate about.”

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