VIDEO: Jeanne Andrews Is Astronaut Coaching Legend
By SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME // May 1, 2014
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: Jeanne Andrews enrolled at the University of Montevallo outside of Birmingham because of the school’s number one ranking in physical education in the state. Right out of high school in 1968, she also signed up with the Huntsville Rockettes, a semi-pro women’s fast pitch team that played tournaments throughout the Southeast.
JEANNE ANDREWS – 2014 INDUCTEE
• Five-Time CCC Coach of the Year
• State Championship Coach
• Florida Coach of the Year
ASTRONAUT HALL OF FAMER
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Jeanne Andrews’ parents had three children, two boys and a girl. One son liked intellectual pursuits and another preferred music. Jeanne, on the other hand, lived and breathed sports.
“I had a fantastic physical education teacher in Huntsville, Alabama, who turned me on to sports,” explained Andrews.
“Neither of my parents liked my playing sports, because they were afraid I would get injured, but I grew up a tomboy. I was happiest with a glove and ball.”
Andrews enrolled at the University of Montevallo outside of Birmingham because of the school’s number one ranking in physical education in the state.
Right out of high school in 1968, she also signed up with the Huntsville Rockettes, a semi-pro women’s fast pitch team that played tournaments throughout the Southeast.
“The college kids were able to play on weekends,” said Andrews.
“You could end up playing nine or 10 games a weekend. We loved it.”
With a bachelor’s degree in physical education, Andrews took her first job, teaching physical education to kindergarteners through juniors at a private school in Huntsville. She also coached the cheerleaders.
“It was impossible,” she said. “By Christmas, I realized it wasn’t for me, so I resigned.”
A trip to Titusville to relax at her brother’s home turned into a permanent stay in the area when she was offered a job teaching physical education at Edgewood Junior High School for the 1973-74 school year.
“I’ve been here ever since,” she said.
In 1974, she hopped to Astronaut High School, where she stayed until her retirement in 2008. Although she started as a physical education teacher, coaching softball and volleyball, she was promoted to dean of students in 1981, a ten-month position that still allowed her to coach volleyball. In 1998, her new job as assistant principal separated her from her beloved sports for a while.
“I went crazy for a little while, but I went to every volleyball, baseball, basketball, softball and football game I could go to,” said Andrews. “Some of the teachers didn’t like to supervise the games, but I loved doing it.”
Don’t tell anyone, but Andrews was the high school’s first War Eagle mascot. “Astronaut asked if I would be Eagle the first year,” said Andrews.
“Of course I said yes. I got to travel to all the main sports games! I was always interested in promoting War Eagle spirit and pride.”
She eventually returned to the dean of students’ job because she so missed the kids and the sports.
As the War Eagle softball coach from 1976 to 1992, Andrews stacked up 128 wins against 27 losses. She won three conference championships and one state championship, plus six districts, three regionals and one sectional.
With volleyball, which she coached from 1975 to 1996, she won five conference championships, nine district titles, nine regionals, three sectionals, three semi-finals, two finals and one state championship.
Andrews’ coaching talent earned her Coach of the Year kudos five times from the Cape Coast Conference, and she was the Florida Coach of the Year in 1976, as well as in 1978,1980 and 1990.
In 1980, she was also selected Coach of the Year by the Florida Athletic Coaches’ Association.
Astronaut High School honored Andrews by naming its field the Jeanne Andrews Softball Field. She was inducted into the Astronaut High School Hall of Fame in 2006.
Jeanne’s Kids, the organization that grew from helping a homeless and abandoned Astronaut High School student, has raised thousands of dollars to help local students and families down on their luck.
These days, Andrews coaches primarily off the field. After seven months taking it easy in retirement in 2008, she went back to work, this time as a guidance counselor for the school system’s North Area Adult Education.
“We have students from 16 to 60 and we help them straighten out their lives,” she said.
THE 2014 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 9 with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. – and dinner and ceremony at 7 p.m.
FOR INFORMATION & TICKETS to the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Induction dinner call 321-615-8111 or e-mail MaverickMultimedia@gmail.com