FORT WAYNE – Coaching basketball was almost evitable for the Andrews brothers.
While Gary has been a head coach on the female side for years and is currently the head women’s coach at Saint Francis, younger brother Fred is just beginning his stint leading a program as the head boys coach at Hamilton.
Fred also time as an assistant coach in college and high school, most recently at Indianapolis North Central.
A 1986 graduate of Bellmont, Gary is the oldest of the three Andrews kids that also includes the youngest, sister Jenny, who has been an assistant for years with Gary at Luers and Saint Francis.
Growing up basketball and all sports were big in our household, Gary said. I remember my parents would take us to games when we were young and my mom always said I would sit and watch the games even when I was only one.
We grew up out in the country and we lived in a housing addition, and we were always playing some kind of sport.
Fred saw the start of the brothers’ coaching careers in those battles growing up.
We both knew we wanted to coach, Fred said. We did talk a little bit, but it was more competitive than actually talking philosophies.
Gary’s career began when he was asked to coach the seventh grade girls team at Bellmont just a couple of years after graduating from the school.
It has progressed to a coaching stint in AAU that resulted in three national titles, a nine-year career at Bishop Luers, where he won three Class 2A state titles, and a 12-year career at Saint Francis, where he has a record of 259-132 and seven appearances in the NAIA national tournament.
I don’t think it is a coincidence we both got into coaching, Gary said. I think I knew when I was in high school that I wanted to be a coach. I am sure that me getting into coaching helped Fred think about getting into the profession. Our dad (Larry) coached junior high basketball at Berne Junior High.
A 1989 Bellmont graduate, Fred was a manager for Gene Keady at Purdue and moved to Butler County (Kansas) Junior College and Wichita State. He also assisted at a junior college in Florida, at IPFW and at Indianapolis.
I kind of knew when I was young that I wanted to coach, Fred said. I knew it for a long time.
He was at North Central under veteran coach Doug Mitchell for five years before taking over the Marines – his first head coaching position. Now that Fred is back in northeast Indiana, the brothers often compares notes about basketball and teaching the game.
Being my first year, there are a lot of people I have talked to but with him being so close, we do talk a lot about philosophies and my frustrations and his frustrations, Fred said.
Taking over a program like Hamilton that has talent but I am trying to change the mentality, it was similar to what he went through when he took over at Luers.