G. Heberton “Heb” Evans III, a legendary Governor’s wrestling coach, caring mentor, and dedicated teacher, was inducted into the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2021 at Gillette Stadium last Saturday.
Evans was born in October, 1927 in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from the Gilman School in 1945 where he was a standout in wrestling, football, and lacrosse and also wrote for the school newspaper. He was a member of the Princeton University Class of 1949 and was a military sergeant (artillery) stationed in Germany from 1951 to 1953.
Evans went on to epitomize the triple threat as a faculty member at Governor’s from 1949 to 1985. He was a math teacher, dorm parent and a legendary wrestling and lacrosse coach. Of his coach, Bob Low, Governor’s Class of 1982 and Groton School Athletic Director wrote, “Forty years removed from my senior spring at Governors, Heb’s impact still resonates in all that I do. His gruff, stentorian voice hovers above my shoulder as I roam an athletic field, constantly reminding of no-excuse standards and expectations to which coaches and players must adhere, in order to honor the spirit of competition. Two words define how Coach Evans approached his teacher-coach-advisor trade: with reverence.”
As head coach of wrestling at then Governor Dummer Academy from 1958 to 1985, he led his team to four undefeated seasons in 1959, 1960, 1962, and 1963, earned two Class-A Championships in 1962 and 1963, one Graves Kelsey (Independent School League) Championship in 1982, and a New England Championship in 1983. His overall record was 200-115-7.
From 1958 to 1984, Evans was the head coach of varsity boys lacrosse, leading his team to a New England Championship in 1966 and a Northern New England Prep School Championship in 1977. He amassed a 235-134-3 record. He was inducted into the New England Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1995. Evans’ book, Lacrosse Fundamentals, is still used as a handbook for coaches and players around the country.
Evans passed away on February 12, 1985.
Evans spent hours teaching new techniques while studying the sport of wrestling at length. At meets he could be seen speaking into a tape recorder, memorializing opponents’ moves to better beat them in the next encounter. He always wore Brine athletic socks, the same necktie, the same gray herringbone Harris tweed jacket and highly-polished loafers.
Other members of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2021 include Dr. Robert Fitzgerald, Ed Hanley, Dennis King, Marc Loranger, and Rodney Smith. Their achievements will be recognized and their names memorialized with the other inductees on the National Wall of Honor at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Stillwater, Oklahoma.