1971 Hall of Honor
Coming to Beloit in 1908, at a time when college athletes were in a depressed condition, the later Dana Evans in nine years developed with skill and enthusiasm a program which earned him the reputation as an able coach and a magnetic, forceful, leader. Trustee C.B. Salmon, writing in the 1913 yearbook paid him the highest compliment: “No other coach in any college or university – Stagg perhaps excepted – occupies today so large and commanding a position in college athletics as Evans.” Bolstered by student support and faculty respect, Mr. Evans quickly returned Beloit to its former prominence; his teams won Wisconsin and conference championships in track and state titles in football, basketball, and baseball. Trustee Salmon also observed that “More than being a successful coach, more than being a thorough trainer, more than being an athlete himself, Evans is above all a gentleman.” After leaving Beloit in 1917 and coaching at Indiana a year, Mr. Evans went to Northwestern University. There, his leadership resulted in a reawakening spirit both on campus and among alumni – and there, too, at the peak of his task of rebuilding the athletic department, he died unexpectedly in 1924 at the age of 53.
Beloit attracted national attention as a small-college power during the 12 years Dolph Stanley guided its basketball fortunes. Battling some of the country’s top teams, his Buccaneers compiled a spectacular record of 242 victories in 300 games. They played the 1952 National Invitational Tournament, several other major tourneys, and such arenas as the Chicago Stadium, New York’s Madison Square Garden and San Francisco’s Cow Palace, and they won 40 straight conference games and six consecutive championships. Stanley also recruited a staff which extended success into their sports: an undefeated football team in 1952; three successive championships in track and swimming; national ranking in cross country; league and state crowns in tennis, and Wisconsin titles in gold. Leaving Beloit to become athletic director at Drake University, he later returned to high school coaching in Rockford. In four decades, his combined college-high school record shows more than 800 victories; he is the only man to take five different prep teams to Illinois’ elite “Sweet Sixteen.” His outstanding accomplishments have earned him a unique place of distinction in this Hall of Honor, where he joins three of his former playing greats – John Erickson, John Orr and Ron Bontemps.