February 23, 2024

Celebrating Courtney Lovely Evans, Director of Athletics: A Trailblazer in Athletics and Leadership

Courtney Lovely Evans black history month feature

PBA News

West Palm Beach, Fla. (February 23) This Black History Month, we continue to spotlight the remarkable individuals who advance their fields and serve as pillars of inspiration to students and their colleagues at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Today, we honor Courtney Lovely Evans, Director of Athletics, whose journey from the bustling city of Chicago to the halls of academia, where she serves as the first African American woman in her position, exemplifies leadership infused with faith and purpose.

From Chicago Roots to Embracing a Calling 

 Courtney Lovely Evans’ story begins in Chicago, Illinois, where she was born. At a young age, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she spent most of her formative years. She proudly shares that she grew up in a Christian household.

Her academic quest led her to Valdosta State University, where she pivoted from a future in medicine to public relations. She moved on to earn a master’s degree from Georgia State University, and it was there that Courtney found her calling in a realm where passion meets purpose: working with college athletes.

“I went to Valdosta thinking that I wanted to be a doctor. I realized in my Zoology class that the sight of blood made me sick, so I changed my major to undecided,” she said. “At the time, I had a cousin that had just been drafted to the NBA straight out of high school. I grew up a gym rat and thought it would be cool to maybe do public relations or image consulting for professional athletes. I changed my major to Speech Communication with an emphasis on Public Relations. I went to Georgia State with the intention of just going to get my master’s and it was there that the Lord showed me that He called me to work with college athletes. College for me was transformational, thanks to the people that God had surrounding me during that time, and I wanted to give back in the same way.”

A Calling to Serve and Transform

Lovely Evans served at Georgia State as the Assistant to the Director of Athletics from 2007 to 2011. She served the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 2011 to 2015 in Leadership Development and Academic and Membership Affairs (focusing on Division II). In 2015, she heeded the call to serve far from her comfort zone, a leap of faith that would soon see her rise to the role of Athletic Director at PBA. For her, the decision is a testament to the transformative power of sports, which she recognized as a unifying force with the potential to shape future generations.

“I desire to live a yielded life,” Lovely Evans’ elaborated. “God called me to serve at PBA in 2015. It didn’t make sense then because I was far away from family and friends, but I trusted God in making the move. In 2019, I was allowed to serve in my current role as Athletic Director. It was funny because another opportunity presented itself at another institution, and I thought God was calling me to serve there. In silencing myself, I realized God wanted me to stay at PBA.”

Triumphs and Impact at PBA

Courtney Lovely Evan’s journey is an intersection of what happens when passion is connected to purpose. “I chose to work in college athletics because I have seen the transformative power of sports throughout my life. Sports is the great unifier. I wanted to work in sports to impact the next generation.”

The accolades and accomplishments under her leadership are demonstrative of the result of that desire. Her tenure has woven a tapestry of triumphs for PBA. Among the achievements: the first National Championship with the 2023 Men’s Golf team, witnessing PBA student-athletes take influential roles on the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, securing tournament berths and championships across various sports disciplines. Yet, beyond these accolades, the personal growth of student-athletes under dedicated coaches and staff stands as her proudest contribution.

Using Faith as Her Guide 

Colossians 3:23-24 serves as Lovely Evans’ professional compass. It states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” She explained that it serves as a reminder to her that her work is ultimately in service to a higher calling.

She believes everyone needs to be anchored in their faith regardless of their career and shares this advice with students and emerging professionals. “Know what you believe (study your Word, pray, join a local church community) and conduct yourself in all aspects of your life, including the workplace, accordingly,” added Lovely Evans. “We bring our whole selves to work every day; if the truth of the Word of God is in us, it will be reflected in how we think and act at work.”

For her, Black History Month is not just a celebration. “Black History Month is significant to me because it is a time to celebrate the unique contributions Black people have made,” she said. “It is also a time to reflect on the work still left to be done for full equality and justice. Black History is American History.”

As we reflect on Courtney Lovely Evans’ journey, let’s take a moment to appreciate the profound impact of those who, like her, aim to elevate others as they climb.

Explore the Athletics programs offered at PBA here.

Related Articles

Back to All News