Andrews to take over North Gwinnett defense

Robert Andrews

Robert Andrews

North Gwinnett lost one of the state's most respected defensive coordinators in April.

The Bulldogs found a replacement with just as strong of a reputation.

Former Grayson defensive coordinator Robert Andrews has been hired to handle the defense at North. He replaces Mo Dixon, who took the defensive coordinator job at national power Byrnes in South Carolina.

"We lost a great coach in Mo Dixon," North Gwinnett head coach Bob Sphire said. "But to get a coach like Robert with his character and experience he has, I couldn't be more excited."

Andrews left Grayson in February when he was hired as the head coach at East Jackson. He went through spring practice with the six-year-old school, but resigned at the end of the school year. Andrews would not comment on his departure from East Jackson.

"I was fortunate that North had an opportunity for me," Andrews said.

Andrews came to Grayson in 2005 after previously serving as an assistant at Wesleyan. In his eight years with the Rams, he built the defense into a state power. Grayson posted 26 shutouts, including a 24-0 victory over Walton in the 2011 Class AAAAA state finals.

Grayson posted a record of 80-23 while Andrews was at the school, which included four region titles in five years and a state quarterfinals appearance in five of the last six seasons.

Last season, Grayson's defense went four straight games without allowing a point. The Rams allowed just 10.1 points per game and surrendered just 441 yards rushing in 12 games.

The 2011 state championship team allowed just 8.7 points a game and just 570 yards rushing all year.

Andrews' hire should make North's game with Grayson on Aug. 30 a little more interesting. The two schools met in the second round of the state playoffs last year, which North won 28-10.

North has won 10 or more games the last seven seasons, including Region 7 championships from 2009-11.

"Coach Sphire has done a great job with the program over the years," Andrews said. "Hopefully, we can continue to do a great job."