Being an assistant football coach at Western Michigan University was an opportunity that Trevor Andrews couldn't pass up.
The son of legendary NorthWood High School football coach Jim Andrews and brother of current NorthWood football coach Nate Andrews, Trevor wasn't sure about his future as an assistant coach at William & Mary after the retirement of head football coach Jimmye Laycock.
"I was retained (at William and Mary) for a few weeks after (Laycock left)," said the 43-year old Andrews. "I was involved with some recruiting things. I also was looking at jobs and the opportunity at Western Michigan rose to the top. Obviously, I was interested in the job because of the geographic area and being closer to home. I always thought about coming back closer to home but I didn't know if that would ever be realistic.
"I did a skype interview with the (Western Michigan) head coach (Tim Lester) and the defensive coordinator (Lou Esposito). I hung up the phone with them and told my wife that I wanted to work with those guys."
He'll get that chance this fall, as Andrews was hired to be Western Michigan's linebackers coach on January 14th.
"Their vision and attitude matched up with what I really like," Andrews said. "There's a great, positive energy. The coaches are guys you want to hang out with outside of work. You want to be a part of a great working environment like that. Family is also important to their staff. Guys say that, but it's backed up here. Our coaching staff has 33 kids under the age of 10. They want the players and the team to be an extension of their families."
Andrews brings plenty of experience with him to Western Michigan.
He spent 18 seasons as part of the William & Mary football staff. During that time he was the Tribe's defensive coordinator, coached the linebackers, cornerbacks and defensive line and was an associate head coach and a recruiting coordinator.
Before coming to William & Mary, Andrews was an assistant football coach at Randolph-Macon College, where he was the secondary coach and special teams coordinator.
After earning a degree in physical education from the University of Dayton in 1998, Andrews accepted a graduate assistant position at Illinois Wesleyan University where he coached the secondary.
"I worked for a legendary coach in Jimmye Laycock at William & Mary," Andrews said. "He was old school and fair. He wasn't just a football coach. He was a whole person. He coached his players up when it came to their personal life and he helped them also on the academic side. Those are things I take from him. If you don't care about your players it shows through and you're not going to get the best out of yourself or from your players. To be successful you have to care about the student-athlete and develop relationships with them. You have to be more than just a coach to a player."
It didn't take long for Andrew to show what he meant about having a special connection with players.
"I got to coach the players here all spring and I brought the guys over to my house for dinner," Andrews said. "My kids like them. That's the best test."
Andrews, who is married (Danielle) with four children (7-year old James, 5-year old Sophia, 2-year old Aiden and year-old Annabelle), knew at a young age that he wanted to get into coaching.
"I would say I got into coaching because I had a great experience playing high school football at NorthWood and Dayton," Andrews said. "I wanted to help other kids get a similar experience.
"Obviously, (coaching) is in my family blood. I was always around it. I always thought I would be a high school football coach. But when I graduated from college I wasn't ready to be a (high school) teacher right away. I became a graduate assistant and got into the college game and had great experiences from that.
"I admired the coaching staff at Dayton. We won on a consistent basis and I paid attention to my coaches there because I knew I wanted to coach. I saw how they interacted and taught and their whole mode of operation. I still have a great relationship with my college coach Mike Kelly. He's a college football Hall of Famer and I learned from a good one early on."
Andrews would have liked to have learned more from his father about coaching.
Tragically, that never happened.
In the spring of 1992, Jim Andrews died in a car accident.
"I played football at NorthWood a year before he passed away," Trevor said. "Me and Nate are still proud of our father. It was not an easy thing to go through when he passed away. You find yourself reflecting on certain situations and how he would have handled things and what he would have said or done. The biggest regret I have is that my kids never got the chance to meet my father.
"One of the nicest things is when Nate had his first child Cooper. We both wanted to name our first son after our father. He had Cooper a few weeks before I had my first child. Nate told me that he wanted me to have James for a name so my first son is James Nathaniel and his son's name is Cooper James. That brought me to tears when Nate did that."
Trevor stays in close contact with his brother and the NorthWood football program.
"I'm definitely the more laid back brother," Trevor joked. "We talk a lot, with a lot of the talk surrounding football. When I come home I do a clinic with his coaching staff, Nate and his staff will fire questions at me.
"Usually, if I can, I watch their games through streaming. If I'm not able to Carl, who married my cousin (Janelle) does video and tapes games. After every score I get a text from Carl."
Raising a young family isn't easy, especially when moves take place.
Trevor appreciates the love and support he's gotten from his wife Danielle.
"My wife deserves all the credit in the world," Trevor said. "She's been unbelievable. It wasn't easy going through the move and coming from Virginia to Kalamazoo. I did well. I outkicked my coverage. It's so behind the scenes what my wife has done. I couldn't have my career without her. She's the best."
Another move is possible in the future for Trevor and his family.
"I definitely want to be a college head coach," Trevor said.