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Decatur assistant tabbed to lead LHS gridders
LAWRENCEVILLE - Andy Albrecht promises to get Lawrenceville High School's football program headed in the right direction, and to do it in a hurry.

The 30-year-old Albrecht was hired by the Lawrence Unit 20 School Board at a special session Thursday, and met with local media members this morning at the school office. He replaces Randy Hawkins, who was fired after his teams had a combined 2-16 record, including an 0-9 mark last fall. Albrecht will also replace Hawkins in the classroom, as a physical education instructor.

It will be the first head coaching job for Albrecht, a native of Rockford, Mich., who has spent seven seasons as an assistant, the last two as the offensive coordinator at Decatur MacArthur, where he was a PE teacher. He is a graduate of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich.

"There are a number of things we're going to do to get things turned around," Albrecht said. "It's not my idea, coming in here, to make this a four or five-year thing. We want to have success right away, and we're going to do that."

Albrecht met with the LHS players this morning, and spent the day at the school. He plans to spend a day at LHS every couple of weeks until school ends, in an effort to jump start the off-season program.

LHS athletic director Paul Higginbotham, who was in charge of the search, said Albrecht was the choice from 16 applicants, of which five were interviewed. He was impressed with the new coach from the outset.

"He came in with a real solid plan for what he wants to do to build a program," Higginbotham said. "He knows what it's going to take to turn the program around, and he really sold us on that."

While football is his "passion" Albrecht says he loves athletics in general. That, too, was a selling point.

"He's going to develop our athletes, year-round, and develop them as student-athletes," Higginbotham said. "I think he's a difference-maker. Not only will be help our football program, he'll help all of our programs, at all levels."

Albrecht's initial mission is to get more players involved in the program. Last season the Indians played a couple of games with only about 15 available players, and never had more than 30 on their roster.

"It takes numbers to have success in the program," he said. "That's going to be one of the first goals - to get the numbers up and get the kids excited about football. We're going to do some team work, some building activities in the off season. We'll be selling the program, talking it up."

As a coordinator, Albrecht has been successful running a spread offense, which he plans to utilize with the Indians. Defensively, Albrecht says LHS will be attacking in nature, using multiple fronts.

Albrecht is the son of a football coach, and has been on the sidelines since he was a youngster. Becoming a head coach has long been a goal.

"This seemed like the perfect opportunity," he said. "We're going to play a fun style of football, that the fans will love to watch. We look forward to filling the stands on Friday nights."





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