Southeast Missouri State men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt got to know Jessie Evans well when their teams played each other in the Sun Belt Conference.
Nutt said he always had the utmost respect for the job Evans did throughout his coaching career, which is why Nutt is so elated to add the well-traveled Evans to his staff.
Southeast officially announced Evans' hiring as Nutt's top assistant Tuesday after it was reported last week that he had joined the program.
"Coach Evans brings a wealth of experience to our program," Nutt said. "I've known coach Evans and we have been friends for nearly 20 years. I have always admired his body of work. He's a great addition to our program."
Nutt said he specifically was looking to add experience when he decided to revamp his staff in early April.
Nutt gets plenty of experience in the 62-year-old Evans, who served as coach at Louisiana-Lafayette for seven seasons when Nutt directed Sun Belt rival Arkansas State.
"I am pleased, excited and honored to work with coach Nutt and his staff," Evans said. "Coach Nutt is one of the most respected coaches in our field. His teams have always been well-prepared, tough-minded, very competitive and athletic. They always seem to enjoy playing the game, sharing the ball and having success."
Evans is a former coach of two Division I programs who also served as an assistant at several notable Division I programs, including Arizona, where he helped Lute Olson win the 1997 national title. Evans assisted Olson for nine years and was credited with recruiting some of Arizona's top players.
Evans helped mentor 14 Arizona players who have played in the NBA, including Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, Chris Mills, Sean Elliott and Sean Rooks. In all, he has recruited and/or coached 26 players who played in the NBA during his coaching career.
"His recruiting background speaks volumes, and we welcome his experience," Nutt said. "Getting a coach like him on our staff is big for us."
Evans, who played at Eastern Michigan from 1968 through 1972, took Louisiana-Lafayette to a pair of NCAA tournaments.
Evans won four regular-season Sun Belt championships and two Sun Belt tournament titles at Louisiana-Lafayette, which he led to a 132-81 record from 1997 through 2004. Louisiana-Lafayette won at least 20 games four times under Evans.
Evans did not experience similar success at San Francisco, where he went 45-57 in nearly four seasons from 2004 through 2007. He coached just 12 games during the 2007-08 campaign before taking a leave of absence. He eventually was fired without coaching another game there.
Evans, whose overall coaching record is 177-138, also has been an assistant at Minnesota, San Diego State, Texas and Wyoming in addition to Arizona.
Nutt still is in the market for a No. 3 assistant. Jamie Rosser, who has been with Nutt during his first three seasons at Southeast, remains on the staff.
Nutt had been short two assistants since he decided not to retain Kyle Gerdeman and Jeremy Case in early April. Both had been with Nutt during his first three seasons at Southeast.
Nutt also has to replace Luke Scheidecker, who has been serving an important role as the program's operations assistant while he continued his studies at Southeast.
Scheidecker will be leaving at the end of July to take on a similar role at SIU Carbondale under new Salukis coach Barry Hinson.