Andy German is about to begin his first season as the head coach of St. Joseph’s Prep‘s lacrosse team.
He was hired in October, replacing Eric Gregg, who stepped down after a six year tenure. Prior to taking The Prep job, German was an assistant coach at Villanova University, serving as their defensive coordinator from 2012-2014 and as an assistant offensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator from 2010-2012. Before arriving at Villanova, German served as an assistant coach at Susquehanna University.
We sat down with German as he enters his first season at the helm of his own program.
What made you decide to get into coaching in the first place?
I transferred into Villanova as a junior and had to take a fifth year of school to finish my degree. My playing days were over and during that year, I missed being around the sport and being apart of it. I ended up catching a break and got a job at Susquehanna and kind of just fell in love with it. I did that for two years and then I got a job at Villanova. Seven years later, here I am.
You know, there’s so much that goes into it. It’s not just coaching. I always say that teachers have a one-year relationship with a kid. Professors have a one-year relationship with a kid. But coaches are going to have a relationship that lasts four years … but could last longer than that. The relationships are what keep you in the sport. It’s what it’s all about.
Having come from Villanova, what was the reasoning from coming down from the college level to the high school level?
I had been a ‘Nova for four years, coached college for six years, so to do something different. I just received my master’s in athletic administration so the opportunity to potentially getting to that side. There is more of a chance of getting into that at the high school level than the college level. Not that I want to be an [athletic director], but to be on the administrative side of things is something that interests me. With coaching college, there is a lot that goes into it. There’s a lot of recruiting, a lot of travel, a lot of time. So to be able to move to the high school level and meet new people and a new team is good. It was a good move, especially since The Prep has so much to offer.
How has the transition been from college to high school been so far? How have you been accepted by The St. Joseph’s Prep community?
It’s been great. The kids have been great. I knew some kids from the recruiting trail and knew some of the parents as well. But [The Prep] is a great place with smart kids, parents seems to have it in perspective in terms of the academic and athletic balance and that really helps. It’s not all athletics all the time. The kids are highly motivated to do good things, to get into college, and The Prep demands that of them. I think that’s really helped.
What are some of the hardest parts of coaching?
Losing. You know, Coach [Bill] Tierney out in [University of] Denver always says that losing is worse than death because you have to live through losing.
Another hard part is building a team every year. Every year you have to start from scratch and every team is going to be different and you have to go through the whole process every year. A sophomore is going to be different as a junior. Kids that are juniors are going to be different as seniors. Freshmen grow up a little bit.
When the season ends in May or June or whenever it ends, come September it’s a whole new process. You might have some turnover in the coaching staff. You might have some turnover in the kids. Finding the motivation to do that every year can be tough, but I think that’s the fun part of it.
How do you see your season this year?
It all comes down to coaching. We have a lot of talent and for us it’s going to be a year-long, a season-long process to make sure that we’re playing the best we can in the middle of May towards the end of our regular season, getting in to the Catholic League playoffs. That’s really when we need to be playing our best.
We’re going to have some ups and downs but as long as we’re peaking at the right time, then our season will be a success. Success can be defined in a million different ways, not just wins and loses.
– Text and Images by David Glovach and Evan Bohner.