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Mickey Andrews: 25 Years Through His Eyes
Mickey Andrews is one of the top defensive coaches in the nation.

Mickey Andrews is one of the top defensive coaches in the nation.

Oct. 1, 2008

My First Season at FSU
"When we came in, Coach Bowden wanted to be very basic in our defense. He wanted to have one front and coverage and that's what we worked on all spring and the next season. Our ideas and what coach Bowden wanted was better fundamentals. We didn't want to get into scheming. It was basically to learn how to whip up on a blocker, get to the football and tackle. To get one coverage, get good at it and improve technique. The execution as a defense was very simple and basic, to get better, fundamentals. That's how we approached it the first year."

Working With Great Coaches
"We've only had four full time coaches on defense all the time that I have been here. It has been a great working relationship. When we first started it was just roll your sleeves up and go to work. When we first got here we didn't have the caliber of talent that we had in the `90s when we were dominating other teams. We got lucky, to sign great players here and there, and we started winning and playing good defense attracting other great players. Then it got to the point where we were having people excel. Not only were we successful at defense but we were getting people that were earning individual awards at the same time. It got to the point where people were excelling. If you excel as a team, you will get individual performances strong enough that will be recognized for what they accomplish as well."

Coordinating for a Legend
"When I came to work here in '84, the thing coach Bowden said he wanted us to accomplish on defense were the things he wanted to do, but he didn't stand around and tell us how to do it. That's a great tribute to him. Sometimes people have a tendency to micro manage a little too much and that stifles some of the creativity that an individual can bring about in a coaching position. Bowden would just say `this is what I want, you all get it done', and as long as we didn't mess it up he wouldn't bother us. We had a staff unit that would work like crazy and that includes not only coaching, but the process of recruiting and developing relationships and motivating and demanding the things that the program was really built on."

Key to Success On and Off of the Football Field
"Trust, loyalty, unity, accepting accountability, knowing that you have to get the job done and if you want to be successful you have to do all that. You don't have to be a great athlete to achieve success. Success to me is doing the very best you can no matter what level you are at. A first teamer, an All-American, an award winner, or a third teamer, and you go out there every day and you show up to work and you don't take a day off. To me what we have tried to accomplish here throughout the years is not to just be great players, but to prepare them for when it really matters when you quit playing football. As a better citizen, you have responsibilities as a father, a husband and things don't go right all the time. How do you handle adversity? If you have been able to do it on a football field and in a classroom, and the situations you face while you're in college, if you prepare well enough you can do well in those situations. The things that matter the most are when you get out of college. The biggest thing is helping prepare these guys to become the best they can be on the field and in the classroom, but more importantly giving them the help they need so they can be successful when they get out of here."

A Passion to Coach College Athletes
"Working with the youngsters, helping motivate them through the maturation process not only as a person but also as a player. Seeing them develop a passion to become a great player. Seeing the players wanting to do what an ordinary person won't do. Through the years, when you think of some of the great players we had, they came here wanting to be a good football player and in the process developed a passion to become one."

Special Players Over the Years
"Deion Sanders was the hardest working guy to ever come through here. He was very talented but he wasn't a good defensive back when he got here. He became one because it meant so much to him. When you think back to all the guys who achieved the highest success you could as a player, it was important to him, and he learned what it took to get there. Just seeing the commitment that he made to become better than ever is something you just can't beat. Pride and effort. That's not excluding other athletes." Importance of Family and God "Coaching consumes most of my time but it's not the most important thing. Family is one of the most important in the world. God is the most important thing, along with family. When you go back and look at the number of hours you spend every day you wonder if you don't have your priorities out of order. I don't get to go to church every Wednesday night during season, or spend as much time with my family as I would like to, but deep down I know what is most important."

As told to Stephanie Loewenstern
Sports Information Student Assistant

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