July 1, 1999 - by

Mickey Andrews prepares
for another season
leading the Seminoles’
defensive unit.

FSU’s Defensive Leader is Nation’s Best

Mickey Andrews begins 16th season with the Noles.

July 1, 1999

Florida State’s rise to its current position as the most
consistently successful program in the history of college football directly
correlates with Mickey Andrews’ arrival to tutor the Seminole defense.
FSU’s offense has long been national championship caliber, but it has been
Andrews’ ability to catch the Tribe defense up with the offense that has
made the Seminole program the powerhouse that it is today.

“I’ve got the finest defensive coordinator in the nation and I just
let him coach,” said Bowden. “I’ve got confidence in the defensive staff’s
ability to get it done. They scare me sometimes with all the young players
they are running in and out of there, but I’ve never really cared much for
sticking my nose in the defensive huddle.”

Bowden’s confidence in Andrews was backed up in 1996 when Andrews
was named the recipient of the first-ever Frank Broyles Award. The award,
presented by the Major Sports Association of Little Rock, AR, for the first
time last year, is given to the nation’s top assistant coach. Andrews
directed the nation’s top rated rushing defense in 1996 and his units have
been among the top five nationally against the run for six of the last
seven seasons. Last year’s defensive unit ranked No. 1 nationally as an
overall defense and as the nation’s best pass defense. In addition, the
Seminoles ranked a tight second nationall in rushing defense and scoring

Under Andrews’ direction, Florida State has become the top producer
of All-America and NFL caliber cornerbacks in the nation. He has coached
two players – Deion Sanders (1988) and Terrell Buckley (1991) – who have
won the Jim Thorpe Trophy, given annually to college football’s top
defensive back. LeRoy Butler joined those two as a consensus All-America
pick in 1989. Clifton Abraham was an All-American in 1994 and Corey Sawyer
in 1993. Which means the Seminoles had an All-American at cornerback each
year from 1987-94.

Andrews’ defenses feature an attacking style up front that puts
pressure on the opposing offense. He is also a big believer in creating
depth and uses as many as 40 players a game. In 1991, Athlon’s Magazine
named him the Assistant Coach of the Year and he is on top of every list of
the country’s top defensive coaches.

Andrews came to Florida State from the Arizona Wranglers of the old
USFL, where he spent one season as defensive coordinator after having spent
the previous 17 years coaching in the collegiate ranks.

Andrews’ coaching resume includes stints at Eastern Kentucky,
Livingston, North Alabama and two of the teams that appear on the
Seminoles’ 1998 schedule. He was Clemson’s defensive coordinator from
1977-80 and was an assistant at Florida in 1981-82.

From 1972-76, Andrews was the head coach and athletic director at
North Alabama. He was the head coach at Livingston University from 1970-72
where he won the NAIA national championship.

A star on the football field and the baseball diamond for Alabama
from 1961-64, Andrews earned second team All-America honors as a wide
receiver and defensive back. During his career, the Crimson Tide won a
pair of national championships (1961, ’64) and played in three New Year’s
Day bowl games.

In addition to his football honors, Andrews was an All-SEC choice
in baseball. In 1964, he received the Hugo Friedman Award as the Tide’s
best all-around athlete.

Andrews and his wife, Diane, have two children – Ronnie and
Shannon, and four grandchildren.

Years as a Collegiate Coach: 33

Coaching Stops:

  • Erwin High School (Birmingham, AL) – Assistant Coach (1965-66)
  • Eastern Kentucky – Offensive Backs (1966-67)
  • Livingston – Assistant Coach (1967-1970); Head Coach (1970-72)
  • North Alabama – Head Coach/Athletic Director (1972-76)
  • Clemson – Defensive Coordinator (1976-80); Assistant Head Coach (1980)
  • Florida – Defensive Backs (1981-82)
  • Arizona Wranglers (USFL) – Defensive Coordinator (1983)
  • Florida State – Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs (1984-present)

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