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The two outstanding coaches will be recognized at the NCHSAA’s Annual Meeting on May 1 at the Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina.
The Webb Award is made possible through the generosity of gifts from individuals and companies through the NCHSAA Endowment and annually recognizes an outstanding male and female coach. To be eligible for the award, a coach must be nominated by school personnel at the NCHSAA member school where he or she coaches, to have coached for a minimum of 10 years, and have made major contributions to the success of high school athletics at the school, in the community and beyond.
Simmons has coached women’s basketball for 25 seasons and volleyball for 21, all at Sylva-Webster or at Smoky Mountain, and has been highly successful in both. She has won three state titles and 11 conference championships in volleyball, and her 2007 basketball team won the state championship to go with seven league titles in that sport. She has an outstanding overall record of 453-218 as a basketball head coach.
She was president of the North Carolina Coaches Association in 2005-06, the first woman to hold that position, and has won numerous Coach of the Year honors in both sports. A graduate of Hayesville High School and Western Carolina University, Simmons is in the WCU Athletic Hall of Fame and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She has also started community outreach programs such as “Reading with the Lady Mustangs,” a program that sends her basketball players into the elementary school classrooms.
Thomas Evaul has been a head coach in wrestling, tennis and soccer during his career, with over 20 years as a head soccer coach at Avery County. He helped initiate both the men’s and women’s soccer programs as well as tennis at his school. He also served as Avery’s athletic director for eight years and coached in the North Carolina Coaches’ Association East-West all-star soccer game in 2003
Evaul, who also teaches Spanish, has provided translation services in his county for civic organizations, hospitals and the sheriff’s department, among others, and has been involved with recreation department sports in the county. He has also served as the faculty sponsor for student government at Avery.
The award is in honor of Toby Webb, a member of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame who was an outstanding coach as well as a principal and superintendent. He helped turn Albemarle into a football power and posted a brilliant 103-18-6 mark as a head coach there.