EU Alumni Perspective: Mitch McHenry
Name: Mitch McHenry
Graduation Year: 2012
Major: Physical Education
Current Position: PE/Health Teacher / Head Coach Boys Basketball – Kickapoo High School
City and State: Springfield, MO
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
After playing four years of basketball and graduating with my undergrad degree, I immediately started my graduate program at Evangel and played two years of football, helping Coach Jenkins on staff with the basketball program. In 2015, I got my first teaching job with Springfield Public Schools doing Elementary PE. I was also an assistant football coach and basketball coach at Kickapoo. I was blessed to be a part of two successful seasons as our football team went 12-1 and made it to the state semifinals, and our basketball team finished as Class 5 State Runner-Up.
In 2016, I accepted my first head coaching position at Logan-Rogersville. I was able to coach my youngest brother during his senior season, which was a lot of fun and a memory I will cherish forever.
In 2017, the basketball head coach position at Kickapoo opened up and I was able to return. This year I am finishing my fourth season at Kickapoo High School. We have continued the great basketball success at Kickapoo with a Class 5 state appearance in 2020 before COVID prematurely ended our season, as well as a Class 6 State Championship in 2021.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
The road trips for basketball and the dorm life. The relationships and tight-knit community we developed at Evangel will always be my favorite memories.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
Being a coach’s kid, I knew at a young age I wanted to get in the education field and coach. I have always enjoyed sports, the comradery associated with teams, and the school setting. What Evangel did was shape my beliefs and values on how to do this as a Christian man. I was also a fairly new believer when I stepped onto Evangel’s campus as a freshman, so my spiritual maturity was impacted greatly while at Evangel. It also helped me understand that as a Christian, God is not just a Sunday thing but is involved in all aspects of life.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
I think the size of the school allows you to develop a lot of impactful relationships with other students and professors. The professors are extremely involved in your education process, and if you make it a priority to connect with the faculty, they are able to prepare you for what is to come in your profession and in life. I received a lot of hands-on teaching during my degree which increased my confidence in my teaching ability going into year one.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
It is over in the blink of an eye, so stay focused and get the most out of it, but also enjoy your time. For many of us, the moments at Evangel are some of the best memories in our lives. I spent 7 consecutive years there and still look back and feel like it went by in a flash.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
Work ethic, a positive personality, and the ability to communicate with others. All of these traits are controllable and important in the teaching/coaching profession, but are also crucial in many areas of life.