Archdeacon: Flyers’ Andrews after first head-coaching victory: ‘This is a team win, not my win’

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Cole Dow – who shares the University of Dayton quarterbacking duties with Dante Casciola – was a study in exactness Saturday at Welcome Stadium.

The redshirt senior threw just eight passes against Central State. Completed five and two were for touchdowns.

But it was after the Flyers’ 62-24 victory that Dow was most accurate.

He stood on the edge of the field after Trevor Andrews – who’d been a Flyers player himself in the mid-1990s and had then spent 24 years as a college assistant coach at several schools – had faced the cameras and been asked about his first-ever victory as a head coach.

“Everybody’s saying congratulations for your first win, but it’s not mine,” Andrews insisted. “I keep telling the guys don’t make this about me. This is about you guys. This is a team win, not my win.”

As Andrews had been speaking several of his former teammates – part of a contingent of some 25 players from 30 years ago who had shown up Saturday to support him – stood along the grandstand railing and hooted and hollered.

Out on the field, his four kids and his wife Danielle watched him and you could sense the pride. It had shown earlier when they all hugged him and then posed for a family photo.

After Andrews left to the post-game press session to join them, Dow showed he was still right on the money:

“He talked to us today and in true Coach Andrews fashion, he said this day was not about him. But this was for him. We all wanted to show him some appreciation today.”

The Flyers had opened the season on the road last Saturday against Illinois State, a Division I FCS scholarship program, and were crushed, 41-0.

Saturday was the home opener and Andrews admitted: “The last game I saw here I played in.”

While he tried to lessen the importance of his homecoming, everyone else agreed with Dow.

From the group of former players who returned, Andrews asked six of them and two former assistant coaches to talk to his team Friday night.

“We talk all the time about how great the group of guys you play with and how they’ll be your friends for life,” he said.

“We talk about tradition and we have a bunch of little things we do, but they don’t get to see actual people.

“This being the first game and with one of the players fathers having played with me (Mike Stylski) I thought it was good for the alums and our players.”

Mike Kelly who coached them all is now the radio color commentator at games and when he speaks of Andrews you sense the special connection.

Andrews turned down Big Ten wrestling offers and football scholarship deals to play for UD. His late father, Jim Andrews – a hard-nosed fullback they called Bull – shared the backfield with quarterback Mike Kelly at Manchester College.

When he took over at UD, Andrews shared a distinction with his predecessor, Rick Chamberlin. They were both former Flyers players for Kelly.

While many folks hated to see Andrews’ debut last week turn into a rout, he said he looked at it differently.

“It all depended on how you looked at it,” he said. “If you look at it as a devasting loss, it will consume you. If you look at it as a learning experience – an opportunity to learn and grow – you can take something from it.”

The Flyers did a that Saturday.

When the game ended the first to congratulate Andrews were UD president Eric Spina and athletics director Neil Sullivan.

Spina even took some photos of Andrews singing the alma mater with his team after the game.

When he came out of the dressing room after talking to his team after the game, Andrews was met by Chamberlin, who gave him a big hug and whispered: " I’m so proud of you.”

Afterwards when asked about it, Andrews’ eyes watered.

“I don’t want to go too much into it because I get too emotional,” he said. “Coach Kelly and Coach Chamberlin have been my biggest supporters.”

With a moment’s thought, he amended that: “Aaah… my wife might get mad at me for saying that…They’re right up there with her.”

As he wrapped up, his buddies were still cheering him, and it was noted few of them look younger than him.

“We’ll it could be the rigors of football or four kids, one of the two,” he laughed. They go hand in hand. I get off of football practice and go home and it’s like football practice again.”

And Saturday his players and his kids and everybody else was the same.

Like Dow said:

“This was for him.”

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