Mickey Andrews Confirms Year-End Retirement Plans: Is Bobby Bowden Next?

Michael McGuffeeCorrespondent INovember 3, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 29:  Receiver Jeffrey Demps #2 of the Florida Gators is brought down by linebacker Dekoda watson #36 of the Florida State Seminoles during the first half at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 29, 2008 in Tallahassee, Florida.  Florida defeated Florida State 45-15.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews announced plans to retire at the end of this season through a statement released by the university today.

The 68-year-old Andrews, who hinted on several occasions that he planned to retire at the end of this season, made that decision official after 26 seasons with the Seminoles.

Andrews' statement in full was as follows:

"After last football season I told Diane I wanted to coach one more year. For several reasons we agreed that was the thing to do.

"We debated on when it should be announced—before the season or after it. Because of a lot of speculation and questioning from friends, family and media, we decided to go ahead and do it now.

"This is my last year as a football coach at Florida State. It has been a wonderful experience. We have been blessed.

"I just want to thank Coach Bowden for giving me the opportunity to come to Florida State in 1984. It has been 26 great years working for him. I also want to thank all the outstanding coaches and staff people I have worked with through the years.

"I especially want to thank all the players who gave so much of themselves to make this program so successful through the years.

"And finally, to the fans who make FSU so special—Go Noles!"

The announcement came three days after Florida State (4-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) hung onto another narrow victory, outscoring N.C. State 45-42. The Seminoles surrendered 538 yards of total offense in the win, and are currently ranked 109th in the country in total defense.

“You're putting too much on the offense when you don't play defense better than that," Andrews said Monday. “I guess probably the thing that stands out—for us to overcome it—we have to play smarter and we have to play with more determination.”

Andrews’ once dominant defensive unit has fallen by the wayside this season, giving up 10 more points per game than last season’s average as well as an uncanny 49 plays of 20 or more yards through eight games.

Even with the high-flying Seminole offense averaging 32 points per game, Florida State got off to an 0-3 start in conference play and won just two of the team’s first five home games. Saturday’s attendance against N.C. State of 67,712 was also the lowest at Doak Campbell Stadium since 1993.

However, the overall success of Andrews’ coaching tenure at Florida State lies in two national championships and a storied defense that was a dominant force for the better part of two decades.

Former Seminole defenders hailing from the Andrews’ era have made their presence felt all over the National Football League, including 19 first-round draft picks and 14 consensus All-Americans.

"He's been here 26 years and we've had such success and you just have to credit him with the success we've had since he came," FSU head coach Bobby Bowden said. "He's done such a great job. We'll miss him and his wife and family. He's a good church man and a good civic man and always has his priorities in order and puts his family ahead of football. He's a guy that has never slowed down. He's just as enthusiastic now as he was when he came here."

Andrews and his wife Diane were honored as the Grand Marshals of Florida State’s 2009 Homecoming Parade last weekend, and with the expected announcement of Andrews’ retirement today, the longtime coach will likely be honored again at FSU’s final home game against Maryland on Nov. 21.

At this point it is unclear as to how Florida State would go about naming a successor for Andrews. Bowden has yet to announce a timetable for his retirement, and it is not known whether he and head-coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher would make a decision jointly or if Fisher would be given the autonomy to make the decision on his own.

Andrews will stay on staff until Feb. 10, 2010—the date Bowden hired him 26 years ago to take charge of the Seminole defense.

Andrews is expected to address the media personally following the conclusion of tonight's practice.