By Jeff Miller
Special to The Texas Catholic
PLANO — When Chad Evans began work as the third president of John Paul II High School on the Monday after New Year’s Day, no one had to show him where his office was. Evans returned to the campus where he’d served as the Cardinals’ boys basketball coach from 2008 through 2012.
Not that he was frequently in the president’s office while coaching and teaching health and physical education.
“I don’t think you wanted to, to be honest,” Evans, 49, said with a laugh. “It’s like going to the principal’s office.”
Evans’ life has changed in multiple ways since he last coached, in the TAPPS Class 5A state final against Prestonwood Christian and current NBA starter Julius Randle. Evans took a short trip west on Plano Parkway over to
Prince of Peace Catholic School and spent the last nine years there as principal and then school president. He’d left coaching and classrooms behind because he wanted to get into administration, to give back.
Because of what happened to him during those four years at John Paul II.
“It changed my life when I came here,” he said.
Evans had been the head boys basketball coach at multiple public high schools in Texas, most recently at Irving MacArthur in the UIL’s highest enrollment classification.
“But there was no fulfillment for me,” he said. “I definitely was a person who was seeking my own interest and my own selfish desires in life. When I came here (in 2008), I know it was the Holy Spirit that kind of brought me here.
“I was searching for something, and I found it. What I found was a mission-driven institution that at the end of the day is all about giving Jesus Christ to everyone who that comes here because Jesus is going to give us everything that we’re looking for.”
Evans is a member of one of the founding families of St. Jude Parish in Allen, where his mother was the youth minister. He graduated from Allen High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from North Texas and a master’s from the University of Dallas, and considers himself a convert — to Catholic schools.
A school president oversees the overall operations, and much of Evans’ mission at John Paul II High School is to oversee how money is raised and spent. But he spoke with emotion of an emphasis on providing adult faith formation at a high school.
“I know the impact and the value of helping adults within the building grow in their own faith,” he said. “If they grow in their faith, they grow in their love and desire for Jesus Christ, they’re going to give it to the kids. It’s important to me as the leader of the school to not just demonstrate it but make sure that I’m helping them find what they’re looking for.
“I know that people come to this school, they come to Catholic schools, like I did as an educator because they want something more.”