The 53rd Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame Banquet, sponsored by Briarfield Health Care Center and Ed and Diane Reese, is scheduled for Sunday, May 1 with 12 new members set for enshrinement during ceremonies at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, 7440 South Avenue, Boardman.
The class was originally to be installed on May 3, 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused cancellation of induction ceremonies in both 2020 and 2021. Former Ohio State University and NFL quarterback, and current YSU assistant football coach, Mike Tomczak, will serve as guest speaker. Evans becomes the ninth area media personality to be honored and just the fifth overall from the electronic medium.
Born in Youngstown on September 12, 1954, he grew up and was raised on the city’s South Side and just several blocks away from the former South High School.
He attended Garfield Elementary and Princeton Junior High School and while attending junior high, played football for the Austintown Wildcats (Little Falcons) for two seasons.
When his family moved to Austintown, he then attended Fitch High School, lettering as a member of the Falcons’ football squad.
Upon graduation from AFHS in 1972, he enrolled at Youngstown State University where he studied telecommunications, moving over to education where he received his BS degree in secondary education-speech communication with an emphasis on broadcasting.
He did his student teaching at Struthers High School, primarily working with students at its WKTL, 90.7 FM radio.
Upon receiving his undergraduate degree in 1977, his first job was in sales at WGFT radio in Downtown Youngstown.
Following that, his initial ‘on-air’ position followed at WSOM-AM, WQXK-FM radio in Salem, working there from 1978 until 1985 where he served as a music DJ-host, also anchoring the news before becoming sports director and then radio play-by-play voice of the Salem High School basketball and football teams.
During his final three years, he also broadcast Quakers’ games on Salem Cable TV. While in that position he began in television news in 1981, working at WFMJ-TV, Channel 21 as a part-time sports anchor-reporter and then as its weekend news producer.
In 1986 he moved over to WKBN-TV, Channel 27 as its weekend sports anchor-reporter, serving in that capacity until 1999.
While at WKBN he covered all local sports, including area high school programs, Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini’s boxing career, the local Golden Gloves Tournament, local LPGA tourney along with Youngstown State University sports and the Penguins’ four national championship football runs.
During the Penguins’ four-year reign atop college football’s I-AA division, he was afforded the opportunity to co-host a weekly YSU football show with former head coach and current YSU president, Jim Tressel.
He also covered the professional sports scenes in both Cleveland and Pittsburgh on a regular basis, including post-season runs by the Indians as well as their World Series coverage.
He wrote and produced the “Jim Evans Sports Challenge” with viewers submitting sports and/or activities of which he can compete against them, also co-anchoring the 5 p.m. newscast during his final year with the station.
After relocating to Columbus for a brief period, he returned to the area in 2001 and worked as manager of the Funny Farm Comedy Club’s Canton location where he also performed stand-up comedy.
During his return he re-connected with WKBN-WNIO radio and for the past 19 years, has served as the station’s play-by-play broadcaster for local football, basketball and baseball teams, following many local squads during the regular season and continuing with their state championship runs.
He hosted the popular talk show ‘Sports Rap’ on WKBN & WNIO with Denny Liebert, Champ Summers and Chris Rice, a program that ran through 2018. Among the show’s many highlights was having former unified WBC, WBO, Ring magazine and lineal middleweight champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik and his trainer, Jack Loew, in-studio prior to each bout during Pavlik’s world boxing title run.
In 2002, he began his tenure and currently serves as an instructor in the YSU Telecommunications Department, teaching its students courses in TV & Radio Announcing, Media Interviewing and Survey of Mass Communication.
From 2002-06 he worked part-time as sports anchor-reporter at WYTV, Channel-33 and in 2010, began serving as TV host of ‘Neotropolis’ at Western Reserve Public Media, a program that featured businesses in Northeast Ohio and a program that ran through 2012.
Along with hosting the show he wrote all live on-camera scripts, wrote and reported on feature stories and conducted panel interviews.
Starting in 2011 he began working with the Mahoning County Courts and currently serves as a member of its civil division.
In 2012, he began his stint as TV studio host of the highly popular ‘Loose Change’ segment on Armstrong Cable, writing its entire content including opening monologue for a program which features a lighter look at current events along with interviews of local people in sports, media, music and education. The show currently continues to air on Armstrong, Channel 100 and he also performs sports play-by-play that also airs on the cable network. He currently resides in Canfield.
Individual tickets are $60 each, tables of eight $480 and further information can be obtained by calling 330-506-6774, or by visiting the organization’s website at www.thecurbstonecoaches.org
This article is republished with permission of the Boardman News.