SANDPOINT — Sandpoint’s newest youth football program, the Sandpoint Affordable Football League, acquired Andre Johansen, a veteran high school varsity coach as well as a former director of youth football programs, to be its new Director of Coaching.
“We are excited to have Andre come aboard the SAFL,” said SAFL president Mose Dunkel. “We are confident that he will prepare our coaches, put the kids first and serve our community very well.”
Johansen, commonly known as “Coach Dre,” comes to Sandpoint from the highly successful San Joaquin Section in Northern California. He’s spent the better part of 25 years coaching high school football and wrestling, and understands the need of providing a local youth “feeder” program to the success of the high school.
Johansen also understands the importance of families having a local connection to the community during their youth football years that created those bonds that go well beyond the high school years.
“If kids starting in 3rd/4th grade begin to learn the high school plays, terminology and timing, by the time they enter as freshmen they already speak the language,” said Johansen.
The program, which features teams from the panhandle, offers the opportunity for players to compete against league opponents for years, building healthy rivalries that benefit both communities. No out of state travel means that pre/post game events spend their money within the local community. In this case with five SAFL home games in Sandpoint, plus a 12 team Jamboree.
Johansen’s tenure as varsity head coach at Christian Brothers High School included founding a youth program, and more than a decade later it is still running strong. While at Capital Christian High School serving as Asst. Athletic Director, Asst. Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator, he led as Director of Football for the youth program which grew from 75 players to more than 150 in less than three years. Johansen has coached many athletes who have gone to play both at the collegiate and NFL level.
Johansen is married, with three children, two of whom attend Sandpoint schools and are involved in Sandpoint athletics. He retired from high school athletics to have the opportunity to watch and coach the two younger kids in their academic and athletics events.
On June 2-3, Johansen, along with former Cal and PLU coaches and players from WSU and Montana Tech will be hosting a development camp for kids 3rd through 8th grade at Sandpoint Middle School. To find out more and to meet Johansen, please visit the SAFL Booth at Lost in the 50’s.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.affordablefootball.com.