After Coach Mason resigned at the end of January, an intense curiosity had been building throughout Andrean, particularly among the football players. Everyone was anxious about who would be the next head coach. Last Monday, it was finally announced that Mr. Skinner would be taking the job as Andrean’s varsity football coach.
Mr. Skinner has been teaching at Andrean for six years and was the assistant football coach for six seasons. He was also a wide receiver and a cornerback when he was a student there. As a player, he never envisioned becoming a football coach, but he has dreamt of the possibility since he began to major in education at Purdue University.
Even though Mr. Skinner was interested in the job from the beginning, he had mixed feelings when Coach Mason left Andrean. “It was a very conflicting time because, you know, I was sad to see him go, we had a good run, we did some good things… but I was excited about what the potential might be with me,” Skinner said.
What was really only about a month and a half felt like a year-long process to Mr. Skinner, but he had a lot of support from his colleagues and the football players. Some of the players even wrote letters to Mr. Piwowarski asking him to give Mr. Skinner the job. “Just to know that they view you as somebody that they want to lead them is a pretty great feeling,” Mr. Skinner said. “I got a lot of support from family, friends, colleagues, and other coaches even, but then to know that the players did something like that kind of took it to a different level.”
Moving forward, Mr. Skinner has a lot to live up to. According to the Northwest Indiana Times, “Mason was 80-24 in eight years at Andrean, winning six sectionals, three regionals, two semi-states, and a Class 3A state title.”
Skinner plans to continue the tradition of on-field success, while enhancing the football players and making them better people. He believes that football can teach many valuable life lessons, such as dedication to one’s passions and working hard to achieve a goal. He is also committed to cultivating a sense of camaraderie between the players that will last beyond their high school careers.
As the team undergoes off-season training, Mr. Skinner is most looking forward to the aspect of forming a good personality. Even though on the surface, football may be about scoring points, there is so much more when it comes to building relationships with other players and coaches.
As Andrean looks forward to the upcoming football season, a bright future full of success on and off of the field seems to be approaching with Mr. Skinner as the new head football coach.