LV Life Editor
The University of La Verne Leopards began their football season under the leadership of new head coach Andrew Ankeny.
He is joining La Verne after seven seasons serving as East Texas Baptist University’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.
“He is very determined, he knows what he wants and what he has to do to get there,” said defensive back Jon Farmerie, a senior movement and sports science major.
Ankeny, 33, was born in Salem, Ore., but grew up in Homedale, Idaho, with his parents and two younger siblings.
A defensive back in college, Ankeny played football throughout high school and continued while attending Taylor University where he received his bachelor’s degree in social studies education.
Ankeny’s coaching career began at his alma mater as a graduate assistant.
“I’ve coached college football since I was done playing,” Ankeny said.
In 2000, Ankeny received his master’s degree from Ball State University in athletic administration.
After three seasons at Taylor, Ankeny received a job opportunity at East Texas Baptist, where he worked with the wide receivers until 2003, when he was promoted to assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.
That season, the Tigers won their first American Southwest Conference championship.
In May, Ankeny accepted the position at ULV following the resignation of former coach Don Morel.
Ankeny is the fourth head coach at the University of La Verne since 1948.
“He is a lot more structured than what we have had in the past,” Farmerie said.
“What he wants to do is working and will continue to. It’s just a matter of time before it reflects in wins and losses.”
Ankeny, his wife Kate and two children, Elijah and Zain, have recently moved to Southern California and are excited to be on the West Coast near family and friends.
“We like the school and the community,” Ankeny said.
“He wants to bring new energy to the team in regards to the school and the community,” said quarterback Troy Doolittle, a senior communications major.
Ankeny said he likes the team he has inherited.
“I always have huge expectations for this team to be unbelievably competitive in every game we play,” Ankeny said.
Ankeny often tells the Leopards his philosophy of “team over individual” and bases everything they say and do off of that one phrase.
When they are on the field, in the weight room, or at a meeting the Leopards are no longer individual players but a team that works together and functions as a whole in every aspect of life.
“He is trying to change the face of football at La Verne in a positive way,” Doolittle said. “The things he has taught me through football, I will use later on in life.”
Madison Steff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.