CENTER — Center High School Hall of famer Jim Bevan was inducted along with eight other individuals and three teams Friday evening in the 20th Hall of Fame Class for Adams State Athletics.
This coming weekend, Bevan will be inducted into Rice University’s Hall of Fame where he has coached for the past 31 years.
Bevan graduated from Center High School with the class of 1979. His friends remember him fondly as “a gym rat” that lived for sneaking into the school to play basketball or who continually came knocking on their doors asking to “play some ball.”
Bevan was inducted into the Center Schools Hall of Fame in December of 2012. At that time, he commented on his long career and reminisced about his high school days.
“I grew up in the gym,” Bevan recalled. “I helped Mr. Stanley the janitor after school and watched everyone play.” He remembers looking up to great players like Bruce Metzger and Lionel Martinez, and following each sport throughout the seasons.
The Myers family took me to games all over,” he said. “And Brent Fyock was the big brother I never had.”
Known by all for his tremendous character and humble nature, Bevan was also a great athlete and a great sportsman who earned Colorado State Champion honors in the triple jump event in 1979.
After graduating from Center High School, Jimmy competed at Adams State College under the tutelage of the legendary Joe Vigil whom Bevan claims, “taught me most everything I know about coaching.”
He then graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and physical education in 1984, serving as assistant track and cross-country coach at Adams State College before taking the head coaching position at Rice University in Texas in 1986. There he earned the following honors during his illustrious career:
1994 Southwest Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year; 2002 Western Athletic Conference Cross Country; 2005 Conference USA Cross Country Coach of the Year; 2007 Conference USA Indoor Coach of the Year; 2007 Conference USA Outdoor Coach of the Year; 2007 Conference USA Cross Country Coach of the Year; 2007 NCAA South Central Regional Cross-Country Coach of the Year; 2008 Conference USA Indoor Coach of the Year and 2008 Conference USA Outdoor Coach of the Year, 2015 Conference USA Cross Country Coach of the Year, 2016 Conference USA Cross Country Coach of the Year and winner of the 2017 Elizabeth Gillis Award for Exemplary Service by Rice University (award given to the one faculty/staff member at Rice for outstanding service to the school)
Rice also was named the SAAC Coach of the Year for 2016-2017.
Additionally, as an athletic recruiter for Rice University Bevan has kept a special eye out to help San Luis Valley students get into college, often encouraging his coaching colleagues to offer Valley students an opportunity to gain a college education.
“I feel grateful and lucky to have grown up in the town of Center, to have been gifted with the parents and teachers I had,” Bevan said. “I feel a connection to the whole town because of the opportunities I had there and how I was raised.”
Today the Houston area is home to Bevan and his wife Vicki. Bevan’s father, Delbert, ran the Center Motor Car company in town for many years, and his three sisters still live in southern Colorado.
(Teresa Benns contributed to these original news releases from Center Schools and Shaun Wicen at Adams State University.)