About 20 players gathered behind
"As much as I love Florida State and love these guys back here, time has just got so important for me now," Andrews, 68, told reporters. "And I can't coach football and do what I need to do with the responsibilities that I have now."
Those responsibilities far outweigh any concerns on the football field. Andrews and his wife,
So let's give Andrews a pass for this year's defense -- his worst by far -- and commemorate his retirement by remembering all those years the Seminoles had the nation's most terrifying defense. It's no coincidence that not long after
Andrews, who learned his football from
Ask former Florida quarterback
Spurrier won the chess match in that Sugar Bowl, but Andrews had more success than anyone against Darth Visor. In 14 meetings between 1990 and 2001, FSU was 8-5-1 with Andrews matching wits against Spurrier.
Andrews had plenty of success against the rest of his opponents, too. FSU led the nation in rushing defense in 1996 and 1997, and the Noles led the nation in pass defense in 1998. In the 2000 Sugar Bowl, his speedsters contained Virginia Tech's
Life changed forever for Andrews in August 2007 when he got the call that his son had died. His priorities may have changed, too. "I think he is the same coach," Diane Andrews told
That new person needs more time with his family. Andrews said it best Tuesday night. Time is just so important now.
So, after this season, the man who changed the way everyone plays defense by commanding his runners and hitters to kill flies with axes will return to the family that shares his DNA and leave the one that shares his passion for football. "I don't know if anybody could be more fortunate to have a job like I do with the coaches that I work with and these guys back here," Andrews said. "I fuss at them a lot of times and say things I ought not to say, but they know I love them and I just want the best for them."
They'll miss him dearly. "The freshmen aren't even going to know what they are missing," FSU linebacker