Get To Know Dan Andersen: The New Ridgefield Spudders Head Football Coach
Written by Bryan Levesque on May 11, 2012
After Matt Martin stepped down as the Ridgefield head football coach following the 2011 season, the Spudders found themselves looking for a new head man for a second season in a row.
This is uncharted territory for a Ridgefield program that was the was a model of consistency from the mid ’80′s into the early 2000′s when Art “Ossie” Osmundson walked the sidelines for 16 seasons and brought home the 1995 WIAA A State Championship. George Black took over from 2002-2008 and was then replaced with Kitt Rwalings from 2009-2010 prior to the hiring of Martin for the 2011 season.
Former Spudders assistant football coach Dan Andersen will be taking over as the head coach at Ridgefield High School for the 2012 season. Andersen has served as an assistant coach at Ridgefield for the past 3 seasons following 12 years coaching with Clark County Youth Football.
Dan grew up in Northern Idaho where he attended Lewiston High School and played Tight End and Fullback. Following high school, Andersen played football at Spokane Falls Community College before transferring to the University of Idaho where he played Defensive End under then head coach Dennis Erickson.
We caught up with Dan Andersen and asked him a few questions so everyone can get to know the new Spudders coach a little better.
What was your first thought after you received the news you got the job?
D. Andersen – My first thought was that we got a late start, receiving the job basically in April. My first initiative was to get the overall outline of the program in place and then meet with those Seniors to make sure they understood what this program was about and how we were going to attack it.
What is your offensive philosophy and what experiences through the years helped define it?
D. Andersen – I really like innovative offense. I played for Dennis Erickson at the University of Idaho, a very innovative offensive guy. My offense really tries to keep the defense off balance.
What is your defensive philosophy?
D. Andersen – I like a defense with a lot of movement, showing many different looks. I like an attacking defense, not one that sits back and counter punches the offense.
Most head coaches at the high school level usually coordinate one side of the ball and have another coach run the other. Do you coach this way? If so, which is your strength?
D. Andersen – My mind definitely tends offensively. I will manage the offense and its game plan while hiring an assistant coach to manage the defense.
What is your favorite part about coaching?
…part of the game that I gain personal satisfaction from, is having a positive impact on 75-80 young men each year.
D. Andersen – I really like the game planning aspect of the game from a coaches perspective, coming up with a plan for each game to be successful. My favorite part of the game that I gain personal satisfaction from, is having a positive impact on 75-80 young men each year.
What do you view is your biggest challenge taking over at Ridgefield as they move back up to the 2A GSHL?
D. Andersen – We will virtually be the smallest 2A school in the state, so to be successful, we have to have everything in the program working perfectly.
Where do you see the Ridgefield program in 5 years?
D. Andersen – We want to have the Ridgefield football program annually near the top of our league, 100% graduation rates, and fine young men being prepared for their next step in life.
During spring ball what is the first thing you plan on changing or implementing, and are you planning on taking the team to any summer camps and if so which one?
D. Andersen – During spring football we will be introducing my offense and getting the boys familiar with our overall program. We will be taking the team to Linfield College for a summer camp.
How did you end up as an assistant at Ridgefield?
D. Andersen – A few years ago when Kitt Rawlings was the head coach at Ridgefield, we met and found out that we had a similar football mentality and outlook on how the program should be implemented with the boys, so he asked me to be part of the football staff.
Ridgefield football team will be a tenacious team on the field
What is one thing you want the readers of this article to know and understand about you?
D. Andersen – Simply that the Ridgefield football team will be a tenacious team on the field and will play the game to the highest level of ethical standards.