Former Florida State football coach Mickey Andrews has played and coached football for more than 45 years.
Mickey Andrews is famous for his passion on the sideline. He served as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for the Florida State Seminoles for 26 years. Before coaching at Florida State, he played for the University of Alabama winning two National Championship Titles as a player in 1961 and 1964. He coached at Livingston, now University of West Alabama, where he coached the team to NIAI National Title.
While coaching at Florida State, he won two National Titles one in 1993 and the other in 1999. Andrews has coached nearly 80 players who have gone to play in the NFL. To say Mickey Andrews life was football, is an understatement.
"When you are in football your whole life is consumed by football," said his wife Diane.
How do you go from a life consumed by sport, to a normal one? How do you attend a football game if you've never sat in the stands?
"I really didn't know how to act," Mickey said. For the first time in almost half a century, Mickey sat in the bleachers for the Florida State/Clemson game. "I didn't do the chop, I did stand up and yell a few times, I don't even think I did the wave when it came by." When asked why, he said he had never done the chop on the field, so he didn't do it in the stands. He said, "I guess I got to start doing it now."
You could say he's a rookie when it comes to being a fan.
His new life goes beyond the field. "Being able to spend more time with Diane and the family are the big things.” His wife Diane couldn't agree more. For the first time ever, the couple got to celebrate their anniversary.
They were married when Mickey was playing at Alabama, and since their wedding day on New Years Eve, the couple has always been at bowl games.
"We were able to come up to the houseboat by ourselves and we enjoyed just being together. We did watch the Florida State ball game though," said Mickey.
While Diane loves the company of her husband, she says there are other perks to having him around. "Probably reaching high things in the kitchen," she laughed.
There's one thing that is for sure about Coach Mickey Andrews. He is not the same person everyone saw on the field. The Mickey his family and friends know is quiet, and calm.
His grandson Chase Andrews lives in Tallahassee. He said, "He's a goofball off the football field. When he's on it he looks like he’s real ticked off and all that, but when he gets off the field he's awesome he's really fun to be around."
His other grandson Dillon Andrews said his schoolmates tell him it must be scary to be around your grandfather after a game. Dillon said he isn't scary at all, he continued, "We could lose to like T.C.C or whatever and he wouldn't… You wouldn't ever know because he leaves it all on the field."
Now with less field in his life and more home, who knew Mickey could play the piano? And challenge his grand kids in ping-pong.
Mickey says he is enjoying his new pace of life, being able to spend time with his grand kids and influence their lives. It's something he has had years of practice with and considers that a bigger accomplishment than his five National Titles.
Mickey said, "By and large just seeing those guys (previous players) work at trying to become the best they could be, and then get off the football field and go do it in life being good daddies, good husbands, being good citizens, doing your best there, that's where it really counts the most."
At Andrews' last home game, a former player gave him a truck, and fans cheered loudly showing their love for him.
"The thing that was really touching as well was when they gave us scholarships to our five grandchildren," he said.
Don't think after hanging up the whistle Mickey and his family are closing that chapter of their lives.
"We were there for 26 years it's like home," said Diane.