AP NEWS

USCA alum Antonio Evans, fitness entrepreneur, to speak at university’s convocation

December 12, 2018

Antonio D. Evans, a graduate of USC Aiken’s class of 2001, will be the keynote speaker Thursday for the university’s convocation ceremony.

Evans is a fitness entrepreneur and motivational coach who has spent almost 20 years in the fitness industry, inspiring people from all walks of life, according to a news release from USCA. Currently, he mentors young men in the greater Charlotte, N.C., area, using fitness, baseball and entrepreneurship as teaching tools.

“It is such an honor to come back to USC Aiken and address the graduates. I hope that I can share a few life lessons the graduates can take with them as they transition,” he said.

Each year, the university invites an alumnus or alumna to address its December graduates. This year marks the first time an exercise and sports science major has had the honor.

“This is a very significant event for me, both in terms of how it reflects on the Department of Exercise and Sports Science and on Antonio,” said Dr. Chris DeWitt, the chairman of the department who mentored Evans during his collegiate career. “This is a great accomplishment for exercise and sports science and for Antonio. I am proud of Antonio, and I am confident that he will deliver an outstanding presentation, replete with important information.”

A Laurens native who now calls Charlotte home, Evans is the founder of several fitness brands, including Plank Life, Power Wheel Race, Hustle your Health and San Fitcisco. He also is the owner of ReShape Fitness LLC. Through this program, he has provided fitness and wellness services to communities, organizations and individuals for 14 years. Evans also created the Making Fitness Fun and Educational program geared toward middle school kids.

Before bolstering national attention on the power and benefits of fitness and before creating unique health and wellness programs for all ages, Evans first earned his degree at USCA.

DeWitt said the entrepreneur-to-be was a good student during his freshman and sophomore years, but he “blossomed into an outstanding student in his junior and senior years, full of critical thinking questions.”

“USC Aiken provided Antonio with a knowledge base and skill base that has enabled him to achieve remarkable professional accomplishments and to undergo a continuing stellar career,” DeWitt said. “This is consistent with our core values in terms of how USC Aiken has provided the initial preparation for Antonio and all our graduates, setting them up for long-term success.”

Evans agreed and credited the university for the foundation on which he’s built his personal success.

“My education from USC Aiken has helped shape my career as a fitness entrepreneur,” he said. “I firmly believe my classes in exercise science, combined with my business courses, have proven to be invaluable.”

Throughout his career, Evans has spoken at various colleges, presented at different conferences and inspired many groups, according to the release. He currently is on the board of the Make an Impact Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps disadvantaged youth. Through these venues, he takes the opportunity to share lessons he’s learned since graduating from USCA.

“One of the great lessons I learned while being at USC Aiken is small can be more efficient than big,” Evans said. “I had a chance to be the big fish in the small pond, and that has served me very well in life.”

In addition to the speaking circuit, Evans has authored hundreds of inspirational quotes and several motivational books, including the motivational book “100 Things to Ponder” and his upcoming book, “Funny Workout Stories.”

One of his quotes is now part of the labeling for GT’s Kombucha, which can be found in retail outlets. He was featured in the book “How to Open and Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business.” Evans also appeared in a television commercial for “Visit Pittsburgh,” which aired throughout the country.

“Antonio is a sincere, honest, humble and impressive individual,” DeWitt said. “It is an honor to me that we have had a confluence of our lives.”