“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” ~Confucius
Life is about identifying your talent and utilizing that talent to live an impactful life. Andre Reynolds reflects the heart of an amicable and focused man, who is determined to live by the words of Confucius and utilize his gifts to empower both himself and others to achieve personal excellence. From a very early age, Andre enjoyed cricket. His dream was to represent his country at the highest level in cricket, but as the years progressed he realized that he wasn’t a strong player. Ultimately, he gravitated towards football and made his first appearance on a football team as a member of the under 16 football squad at Ruseas High School in Hanover. He later went on to play on the 2002 Ruseas team that won the Dacosta Cup and Oliver Shield titles. Little did he know that he would later become one of the best football coaches in South Florida.
Early Coaching Years
Andre never knew that he had a knack for coaching until, in 2006, he decided to coach the female football team at Rex Nettleford Hall at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies. People scoffed at him because they believed that the team had no talent and was never going to make it further than the first round. Andre believed otherwise. So, although he was also a member of the Hall’s male football team, he committed himself to the task of transforming this football team into a winning team. It was challenging but his work with the women on the team made him fall in love with coaching. He states “When a player came to me and said ‘Coach you made me better’ there is no way I could have walked away”. Eventually, his hard work paid off when this, and three subsequent Rex Hall female teams, consecutively made it to the final round of the University’s football competition.
Despite his success, however, he never saw coaching as a part of his future. While at university, each summer he would travel abroad on a summer work program. After he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Language Communication and Society, he went on the summer work program for what should have been the last time. However, this time he decided to stay, apply for his green card, and get a permanent job. Presently, he works as a coach at Fort Lauderdale High and as a member of the recreation department at the Marriot Hotel.
As a coach, he has made several accomplishments. Some of these accomplishments are listed below.
- In the 2012 to 2013 football season, he coached the Blanche Ely girls’ team and enabled them to make it to the semifinals for the first time since 1989.
- As a result of his success with this team, he was picked to coach the girls’ All-Star team which consists of the best players from all the high schools in north and south Florida.
- He has been coaching the male football team at Fort Lauderdale High since the beginning of the 2013 to 2014 football season. Thus far, they have won 20 games, lost 2 and tied 3.
- Recently, he was named Boy High School Coach of the Year for Broward County.
You may be wondering, how has Andre been able to achieve all of this success? He was raised by his grandfather in rural Manchester until he was 9 years old. His grandfather had a profound impact on his life and taught him the value of discipline. Discipline is his foremost requirement for any team he coaches and it is a principle he applies to his personal life. Members of his teams know that they can have fun with their coach, but when it’s time to get to work the work must be done. Andre also adopts creative training regiments and plans strategic moves for his teams.
However, for Andre, discipline is secondary to faith in God. Andre fervently believes that we should place God in our plans at all times. Do your best and God will do the rest. Andre also believes that being successful requires that you do what you love and never give up on your dreams. People would often tell him that he wouldn’t amount to much, but he chose to use their words as encouragement. He has chosen to use his challenges to make him stronger.
At the age of 30, Andre still has his whole life ahead of him. His ultimate dream is to become the coach of Jamaica’s national football team. He wants to be Jamaica’s “special one”. As he awaits the call, he plans to continue working hard, being humble and maintaining discipline. One day, his dream will become reality.