He ‘Means’ Business

The end of an era as head football coach announces retirement

Ally Seevers, Sports Editor

Recently, Millard South’s head football coach, Andy Means, announced his plans to retire after the end of the 21-22 school year. A staple to the legendary Patriot football program, the coach will be leaving big shoes to fill. 

Growing up with a love for sports, Means said “sports were always just a part of my family, and I guess that’s what did it,” Means said. “After going through sports myself, becoming who I am today because of it, I just want the players to come away from this a better person.”

Now as a coach, Means has inspired so many just like he was when he was younger.

“Being able to play for Coach Means was awesome,” junior Brock Murtaugh said. “He taught me a lot on and off the field, and all of us were blessed to play for him.”

“He never gave up on you, even if you were having an off day. He would be the one to tell you to gather yourself and try again,” junior Bryan Zimmerman said.

And that’s what Coach will miss the most. 

“I’ll miss just the relationships, and the players, the students, the coaches,” said Means. “The excitement of the games, and school. I love teaching school. You don’t do something for 40 years because you hate it. I have loved every minute of it and it will be hard to walk away, but I also feel like I’ve accomplished some things.”

And that he has. Over his 40 years at Millard South, Means has coached the football team to 15 state appearances, 2 state runner-ups, and 1 grand state championship title in 2009, earning him 136 career wins as head coach.

“Obviously winning a championship in 2009. That was the best feeling. There are so many other memories, not even from games, but what happens at practice too. We only play one game a week, so we practice a lot more than we play. We practice all week and seeing them put what they’ve learned into their play, seeing them succeed, that’s what gives us the most satisfaction to us coaches. I always tell the players, ‘We don’t make your weekend, you make ours.’ All the memories, just seeing the smiles on their faces after a big win makes it the best job.”

While it will be hard after 40 years, not doing what he loves every day, Means felt it was time to retire after this past year’s events.

“My wife got sick last year about this time. I missed the semifinal game last year because she was taken to the emergency room, and she eventually developed stage four kidney failure so it’s been kind of up and down the last year,” Means said. “She’s going to have a kidney transplant sometime this next year, and I felt like I needed to focus in on that. It just would have been hard to focus on that while also coaching and teaching at the same time. I just felt like I needed to do that for my family and for her.”

This being his last year, Means went out with a bang. Going 9 and 0 during the regular season, beating long-time rivals, Millard West, and upsetting the previously #1 ranked Bellevue West, the legend’s career ended with a season like no other. 

“What I liked about this team, other than the fact that they won, was that it was one of the closest teams we’ve ever had. They all got along together. We had virtually no issues,” said Means. “Normally, it’s hard to get 60, 70 players to work together, but this year’s group of seniors did a great job of working together and getting the younger players to follow the program. I’m proud of the guys and all they have accomplished. The last game doesn’t define their game; everyone knows how good they are. I’m just proud of what they’ve done. They made my last year extra special.”

Means has made such an impact here at this school, “he will be missed.”

“He does a lot for Millard South that people don’t know about,” Activities Director, Steve Throne, said. “He’s just a quality person and such an asset to Millard South. He’s so committed to our school and this program. I’m very thankful for everything he has done for us. We’ll miss having him around.”