LINDEN – Andrew Evertts has decided to step away from the turbulent waters of teaching and coaching, but not before making a few ripples of his own on the way out.
Evertts, who compiled a 5-18 record in his only season as North Montgomery’s Boys varsity basketball coach, submitted his resignation and took to social media Monday to explain his decision, prompting a wellspring of support for the young coach.
“It’s been crazy,” said Evertts in a phone interview. “I didn’t turn off the ‘Notifications’ on my phone when I went to bed, and all night long it kept dinging. I knew something was going on.”
The last time Evertts checked, Twitter reported 150,000 people had scrolled over the post, and 70-80,000 people had read his story.
What sparked the flurry was the 30-year old educator’s candid explanation on why he was stepping down from a career that he loved, only after a single season.
“My education salary is what supports my family, and at this point it is just not adequate for our needs,” Evertts wrote, in part, in a lengthy post on Twitter. Evertts went on to explain that he in no way blames the North Montgomery School Corporation for his decision. “This is not a North Montgomery problem,” he wrote. “This is an issue with the state of Indiana.”
The Angola native continued on Twitter to broaden his reasoning, stating that it will be several years under the current pay formula before he can earn more than $40,000, and that it is not his intention to stir controversy, but rather to explain his reasons for leaving.
The plight of the young coach, who has a wife and 9-month old son, caught the attention of teachers and public school defenders who threw their support behind Evertts. “Teaching and coaching has never been more challenging. Pay for our youngest teachers is embarrassing,” read one response.
“I’m afraid that some people think I posted that in order to jump into the teacher pay controversy,” said Evertts, “But the reason all along was to set the record straight on why I was leaving after just one season. Sometimes things get out there that just aren’t true.”
North Montgomery is the third head coaching stop for Evertts, after going 52-45 record at Mississinewa over four seasons. The Indians posted back-to-back 16 win seasons before Evertts accepted the head job at North Montgomery last spring. Evertts also spent two season at tiny Medora High School, a Jackson County outpost.
“When I was at Medora, I made $30,000. When you are just out of college and single, you think that’s all the money you will ever need,” suggested Evertts. “I chose this career knowing what I was getting into, but having a family changes things.”
Although financial development weighed heavy on his choice to resign, the coach also pointed to the long hours, which he estimated chewed up 70-75 hours each week during the season.
“I think devoting that many hours, knowing that I wasn’t going to be compensated favorably, did lead to a little bit of a burn out. But I still love coaching. Right now I’m not going to be on the sidelines anytime soon. We’ll see about down the road.”
For his immediate future, Evertts says it is equally uncertain. “I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. I’m just looking forward — looking forward for my family.”
Evertts affirmed that his young family — which includes his wife, Susan, an art teacher at the school, and son Jackson — love North Montgomery, and plan to stay in the community.
“North Montgomery has supported us entirely on this decision. They understand why — the lower compensation. They know it. Everyone knows it.”