First Presbyterian Christian Academy recently announced the hiring of Andy Yanzetich as the school’s new athletic director and head football coach. In addition to those duties, Yanzetich will take over the Highlanders’ strength and conditioning programs.
The school’s previous AD and football coach, Jimbo Hale, resigned in December to work in Long County.
A native of Lilburn, Yanzetich brings 16 years of college and high school coaching experience to FPCA. His most recent coaching post was as the head of player and team development for Savannah’s Chain Baseball and head coach of the Chain showcase team. He also has been the assistant baseball coach at South Georgia Junior College, an assistant coach at Milton High School and an assistant coach for the football, baseball and softball programs at Liberty County High School and Long County High School.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Armstrong Atlantic State University and Concordia University and will receive his master’s in athletic and coaching administration this fall. He currently teaches at Lewis Frasier Middle School.
“We are very excited that Andy Yanzetich will be joining the FPCA family as the new athletic director,” FPCA public relations coordinator Maria Reed said. “We are thrilled with the enthusiasm and expertise that Yanzetich beings to the table and are looking forward to an amazing first year of FPCA football.”
Yanzetich, whose daughter attends FPCA, started attending school events and soon realized the former AD had resigned.
“I didn’t think much of it,” he said, adding that he had taken a break from coaching sports when his daughter was younger. “A few weeks later, I realized there was still an empty spot. I’ve known Mrs. (Sammi) Hester, FPCA’s headmaster, for a while … I talked with her and I went to a couple of the basketball games and school events, and it pulled me in knowing that you have that support from the leadership standpoint.”
Yanzetich said his first priorities are to meet with the coaching staff and parents. He said making sure the student-athletes are prepared to excel at the next level, academically and athletically, is job one. Another topic for discussion is organizing fundraising efforts for the school’s athletic program and developing the football team.
Getting ready for the Highlanders’ first season on the gridiron is something Yanzetich said he is looking forward to and will help develop the school’s athletic booster club.
“I feel it can add to the school pride, bring in more students and help us fund the programs better,” he said. “The (football) atmosphere when I was in school … it was a great thing. It’s not going to be a huge football program but it will bring in a lot more to the community. I’ve watched the basketball team … and the basketball program is huge at FPCA and football can be the same thing … It’s going to be a success.”
Yanzetich said they already are planning offensive and defensive strategies, looking to run a spread offense and have plenty of blitz packages on the defense. He said he plans to start meeting with the coaching staff and discussing conditioning next week. Afterward, he plans to hold regular meetings, if possible, to analyze specific goals and program directions.
The football team will start conditioning soon, and Yanzetich said he has developed conditioning programs for every FPCA team.
“I have programs set, one for each sport, and I plan to get with the coaches on them … I have everything set up for them to use that. If they don’t, they are more than welcome to come up with another program.”