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‘He got us on the same page’: Former FSU defensive coordinator says Bowden’s accountability standard is what gave Seminoles edge

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 9:55 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Bobby Bowden had a robust coaching tree. However, there was no more legendary coach to serve alongside Bowden than defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews.

For 26 of Bowden’s 34 seasons in Tallahassee, Andrews worked as closely with Bowden as anybody.

It was 1984 and Andrews needed a job. Florida State came calling and he says it was a no-brainer: He wanted to work for Bowden.

Together, the pair won 12 ACC championships and two national titles.

So, what was the secret to their success?

”I think it all comes back to our leader. Coach Bowden set the pace, he had the idea of what he wanted and how he wanted to get there,” Andrews said. “He had a way of motivating people. I’m talking players and coaches. He got us on the same page.”

You’ve heard it countless times: Faith, family and football. In that order.

Andrews says that’s what he told recruits and their families. And they trusted him.

”When he went into a prospect’s home and visited with their mommy and their daddy and their grandmamma, he sold them on the fact that he would care about their sons and he would help them become a better player, a better person, a better student. And he did!” Andrews remembered. “He made sure we put that into action.”

Even if, sometimes, that meant tough love and discipline. Andrews says players and coaches knew Bowden only wanted what was best for them.

”A guy could go out there on the football field and have a bad day and Coach would be just eating him alive,” he shared. “But when it’s over, he puts his arm around him and the kid knows that he loves him and he’s just doing his part to hold him accountable.”

Bowden held everyone accountable, coaches and players. That’s what Andrews says was the most important ingredient to FSU’s run of success.

”You’re not going to have success in anything that you do if you’re not accountable. Coach Bowden had a little bit of a different way of going about it, but he held you to that standard and he expected you to get there with him.”

In 1996, Andrews won the first-ever Broyles Award, now given out annually to the best assistant coach in FBS football.

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