October 1, 2008 - by
Mickey Andrews: 25 Years Through His Eyes

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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