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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

SHS grad McGill joins Bulldog staff

Sunday, August 14, 2005

(Photo)
Andy McGill
SIKESTON - New Sikeston High School football defensive coordinator Andy McGill is finding out what it's like to come back home.

A member of the Sikeston High School class of 1995, McGill, who joins the Bulldog football staff after a four-year stint as a defensive coach at Southeast Missouri State University, is getting the chance to give back to the program that he was a part of a decade ago.

"It feels great to come back home," said McGill. "My wife has taught here for the last five years. It's good to be back home and to try to win a few games."

Sikeston head coach Jerry Dement couldn't be happier to get a former Bulldog with McGill's credentials among his ranks.

"I think we're fortunate to get a coach of his caliber," said Dement. "It's not a prerequisite, but something we're real appreciative of is that he's a hometown boy. He played here and grew up here. He knows all the kids and the school system and knows a lot about what we've done here at Sikeston." McGill played football as an offensive lineman and was also part of the track and field team at Sikeston.

After he graduated in '95, McGill attended William Jewel College in Liberty, where he continued his athletic endeavors as a fullback on the football field and a record-setting thrower in track.

"In college I threw the hammer-throw," said McGill. "I had the school record for distance at William Jewel College for the hammer throw for a little bit. I doubt that I still have it though."

It would be football, however, that McGill remained involved in after he graduated from William Jewel.

After graduation in '99, he was immediately given a job as an offensive coach for William Jewell the next season. After two years in that role, he accepted a defensive backs coaching job at SEMO in Cape Girardeau. He went on to help with the defense there from 2001-04.

His experience teaching the game on the collegiate level is something McGill relishes.

"I learned quite a few things," said McGill. "At the college level you can learn quite a few different ideas, different techniques and things like that. I coached with a lot of good football coaches, and it was very good for me."

After being let go by SEMO last year, McGill was quickly persuaded to take the job as Sikeston's new defensive coordinator by Dement. McGill sent in his application and was approved.

"We have a lot of confidence in him being in charge of the defense," said Dement. "Before he accepted the position I talked about our philosophies and he had a lot of the same ideas and beliefs that I do. I think we're going to have a very aggressive and attacking defensive scheme and that fits our style. I think the kids are catching on pretty quick."

The only new member of this season's Sikeston High School football coaching staff, McGill feels that he'll have a lot to adjust to as he makes the change from college to high school.

"It's going to be difficult for me a little bit because it's a different transition," said McGill. "When we get kids in college, they've had experience for four or five years. But some kids in high school have never played before. They're just coming out. You have to start at square-one. That'll be my biggest challenge."

McGill also cites Sikeston High School's change from Class 5A when he was a Bulldog to Class 4 as an adjustment he'll have to get used to.

"When I was playing, we were 5A, so we were the biggest school around the area," said McGill. "Sikeston is now Class 4 out of six classes, so we have a little bit less numbers than what we've had in the past.

"I'm just trying to get used to that and trying to figure out who we're playing. My outlook is a little bit different from what it would have been when I was playing. The expectations are going to be a little bit different."

Ready to settle into his new position, McGill is hoping that he can contribute to a team that has a positive outlook for the coming year.

"We want to win as many football games as we can," McGill said. "The biggest thing is to get better from what we were last year. My number one goal right now is for our defense to step up a little bit better from what it was and to win more games. I'm ready for the season to come up so we can get our chance."