Brantford’s Lynne Andrew has taken another step in her NCAA career.
A former player and coach, Andrew recently accepted a job as associate director of women’s basketball with the National Collegiate Athletic Association
“Throughout my entire career I feel like I’ve been pretty blessed with all the doors that have opened along the way and I feel like there’s always been a chain of events for me,” she said.
“When this (job) posted and I applied, I really honestly didn’t know what kind of a chance I had at it. It just turned out that all my experience throughout my entire career . . . and what they were looking for is somebody that not only had playing experience but coaching experience and being an administrator.
“In the end, I was the type of person they were looking for. I’m super excited.”
Andrew is a North Park Collegiate graduate who played NCAA basketball at Lake Region Community College (NJCAA) and Montana State (Division I). She is in both school’s halls of fame.
After a brief professional career in Germany, Andrew returned to the United States where she coached women’s collegiate basketball at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Idaho State, Weber State, North Dakota and Montana State.
The 53-year-old then went into the administrative side of college, working her way to becoming the senior associate director of athletics at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. She also served as the chair on the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Committee from 2012-16.
Leaving Fort Lewis was not easy.
“The relationships you build when you’re on the college campus with the student athletes and coaches and then the community on the campus, I took a lot of pride in getting to know (them),” said Andrew, who is also a member of the Brantford and Area Sports Hall of Recognition.
“Those relationships were the hardest part (in leaving). I miss the people.”
Andrew had been applying for athletic director positions, thinking that was the next step in her career, before eventually putting her resume forward for the associate director of women’s basketball position.
She started her new job in June and one of her main responsibilities is overseeing the officiating improvement program. That program works with conference co-ordinators and regional advisors in helping to select officials for the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.
While the role is different from others she’s done in the past, she’s excited to see what it holds.
“The great thing is there’s an eligibility program in place,” she said of how tough it is to select the right officials for the job. “These officials are being evaluated all year long.
“It’s an ongoing process where these officials are being evaluated and graded. So when it comes down to the selection, we can have a list of 130 to 140 officials and we only need 112.”
Andrew is now based at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind., which has an added benefit of being closer to her mom, Denise Dougherty, as well as her brothers, Duane, Darald and Todd.
“The icing on the cake is that I’m only about seven hours from home so this is the closest I’ve lived since I graduated from high school and left home for my playing career,” said Andrew, whose father, Chuck, passed away several years ago.
“It made my mom cry when I told her that I got this job and I was going to be that much closer.”
Andrew said she is happy to be where she is at this point in her life.
“I think this really brings my career kind of almost back full circle in a sense where now I’m back with just women’s basketball,” she said.
“I’m able to give back and support the sport that’s kind of driven me through my life and my career.
“To be at the NCAA working for women’s basketball is pretty much the ultimate final step, I think, in my career. It’s a place I’m ecstatic to be at.
“I just walk into this building everyday still a little bit in awe and shock that I work for this organization. I can’t say enough about how great of an organization this is as a whole.”