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Coach Carrier: “I would like to think we’ve done a pretty good job giving back to Basketball over the years”

By Alejandro Villegas
On March 31, 2015

Photo courtesy of OU Sports Information

Andy Carrier decided to step down as a coach of Ottawa University’s men’s basketball team after 25 very successful years, in order to have more time to spend with his family.

Carrier, who has been coaching for more than 30 years now, said he was blessed to do so for 25 years at OU. “That’s my first thought. Not too many coaches in this day and age get to go out in their own terms, so I’m very thankful to the university and to the administration, as well as all of those that supported the program over the years and continue to support, and respect my decision,” he said.

Coach Carrier will no longer be on the court with the basketball team, but he will be very active in other areas of the university. “I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to continue to teach, advise and serve the students in Ottawa University. That still lights me up,” he said.

He said that it was not necessarily the coaching, or the game itself, and that it certainly was not because of the players. “It’s just all the late nights and everything else that you have to do to run a successful program,” Carrier said. “It was starting to wear me down a little bit.”

Carrier said he is sure there are a lot of areas of the game, of the program, and of the coaching part that he will miss. Most of it will be the players and working with the assistant coaches. “It was time. I need to have a little bit more time. I’ve missed a lot of my children’s activities,” he said. “I’m looking forward to have more time spent with the family and I’m very grateful to continue to stay at Ottawa and have a positive impact in a little different area.”

Carrier explained that he would still be teaching at Ottawa University. “We’re kind of working out that role. It looks like there will be quite a bit on the academic side. I’ll have a pretty good teaching load,” he said. “I already have a lot of advisees. I’ll continue to be one of the academic advisors in our exercise science and sports studies programs.”

Besides, there is a possibility he ends up in some type of leadership position in OU’s faculty, in those departments. “I think there are other ways to help (other than coaching). I care about our athletic department and I care about all the programs and coaches,” Carrier said.

Carrier was the Athletic Director at Ottawa University for nine years, helping to build the programs to what they are nowadays. “For nine years I was the Athletic Director, so I want to continue to support all of our coaches and all of our athletes, whether that is working with eligibility or serving another capacities, coaches or something like that, whether it is an official title or not,” he said. “I hope everybody in the department feels comfortable with it. I will do my best to support them and give them my best advice.”

Coach Carrier feels he has been pretty lucky because he has been here 25 years and because he has been coaching for 33 or 34 years.

Carrier actually graduated with a business economics degree, and right out of college, was fortunate enough to play a couple of seasons in Australia. “I didn’t get rich, but got to see a little bit of the world, and when I came home I actually thought I wanted to be a banker,” Carrier said. “There was a recession at that time too and there weren’t any jobs in banking, so I actually sold insurance and Bates Security in Manhattan, Kan.”

Carrier did that for about 11 months, and he was making pretty good money, around some good people, but he said he was just miserable. “I didn’t like what I was doing, it didn’t light me up at all,” he said. “So I actually got into coaching, went back to my alma mater (Bethany College) and was a student-assistant coach for two years and did the full Teacher Education degree.”

Then, he went straight to Emporia State, where he was a graduate assistant, did his masters degree in one year and two summers, and then I was fortunate enough to get his first full-time coaching job as an academic advisor for all the athletes at Washburn University, where he was an assistant coach. “Other than those 11 months when I sold insurance, I’ve never done anything else (than coaching). I’ve always taught, I’ve been an academic advisor, a coach, and an administrator,” Carrier said.

Carrier contrasted the feeling after being done playing and the feeling after being done coaching. “I still miss playing, and there is no way I could, you know. Your body breaks down and you get older and everything. You still miss playing the game,” he said.

He chose to become a coach to be able to stay in the game and to give back. “Basketball has provided me so many opportunities from a playing standpoint to a professional standpoint, to a seeing the world standpoint. That’s what has driven me to be a coach,” Carrier said. “I wanted to give back to the game and to the young people that play the game, and hopefully I would like to think we’ve done a pretty good job doing that over the years.”


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