Landers’ Immediate Family: Andrea, Andy, Pam & Drew.
A quarter-century before the up-tempo style which permeates college basketball today was so popular, Landers took what was then conceived as a very novel approach to the game. Long before it was the rage, his Lady Bulldogs were rebounding and pushing the ball up the floor, pressing from baseline-to-baseline and running their highly active motion offense. Simply stated, the Georgia Lady Bulldogs have been playing the most popular style of basketball today ever since Landers arrived in Athens. The Andy Landers creed? “We only believe in one kind of basketball – fast. We are committed to an organized fast break which will lead into our half court game. We will employ the pattern offense and the motion principles. We believe in an aggressive, pressure defense, whether it be zone or man-to-man. We will combine a variety of full court presses with our half court defenses.” If those sound like your traditional quotes from a media guide, they are... from the 1979-80 edition of the publication, Landers’ initial campaign with the Lady Bulldogs. A self-admitted character flaw led Landers to what was then thought to be a novel idea to get the talent needed to be
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Landers’ Extended Family: Players & Coaches
successful at the highest level – recruiting the best players in the country. “I knew if we relied on the state of Georgia to get all our players, it would take three, four, five years to get all the players and depth we needed with the kind of players we were looking for,” Landers said. “I guess I was driven by impatience as much as anything else. “As far as the early years, we just dared to go out and recruit the best players no matter where they were,” Landers added. “At that time, most of the recruiting in women’s basketball was done within your state or very restricted regional recruiting. Back then, there were only a few of us out there doing what we were doing in terms of scouring the country for the best players.”
Setting and maintaining the pace
Finding great players like Wanda Holloway, Janet Harris, Teresa Edwards, Lisa O’Connor and Katrina McClain jump-started Georgia’s meteoric rise in the women’s basketball ranks during the early 1980s. Others who have followed – like Hardmon, current assistant coach La’Keshia Frett, Holland-Corn, Saudia Roundtree, Nolan, Coco and Kelly Miller, Tasha Humphrey and Ashley Houts– have helped Landers maintain that level of excellence for three decades.
Landers’ and his tireless work ethic are the driving and constant forces behind Georgia Basketball. Landers is driven to excel at each and every facet of his life, both on and off the basketball court. That trait that becomes contagious to those around him, be it assistant coaches, players, managers, athletic trainers or anyone else in the “extended family.” Landers attacks every task, regardless of its seeming significance, with as much effort and attention to detail as humanly possible. Everything he attempts becomes a competition of sorts to produce the best result. Landers also teaches his players to compete in everything they do on the court, in the classroom and throughout their life. Then, Landers sits back and enjoys the fruits of that labor of love. Make no mistake about it, every win still gives him a fairly substantial thrill, but it’s the other aspects of his job that will never show up in any stat sheet or in any record book that are equally important. “Georgia Basketball is a special entity,” Landers said with fatherly pride. “It’s special to me. It’s special to the players. It’s special to the staff. It’s special to our fans. I think everyone associated with this program has a keen appreciation for and takes pride in doing things the right way, at the right time, all the time.”
2009-10 Lad y Bulldo G Basketball
The final piece of the puzzle
Doing things in “the right way, all the time” is what helps the Lady Bulldogs maintain their status among the elite programs across the board in the vast landscape of college athletics. But the ultimate goal of Landers and his previous generations of players is still yet to be met. That elusive national championship is what keeps Landers’ competitive juices flowing the most. “The fire is still there,” Landers said. “I can’t imagine a winner not wanting to win or not caring about winning or ever losing that fire. I think if a person is a competitor, they love to win. The only time they’re not going to have that is when they don’t have a pulse.” Landers’ career objective remains the same as when he inked his letter to Dooley way back in 1979. His resumé then stated succinctly: “Ultimate goal – Coach a major college basketball team to a national championship.” And if these Lady Bulldogs are fortunate enough to finally complete that objective and lift an NCAA Trophy, you’ll likely find Landers doing exactly what he’s been doing a great deal recently. He’ll be passing much of the praise associated with the achievement away from him and in the directions of the others he finds so deserving. 37