ROLLA, Mo. – A familiar face is returning to the Missouri S&T football coaching staff.
Andy Ball, who spent four seasons as the Miners' offensive line coach and special teams coordinator from 2007-10, is coming back to Missouri S&T as the offensive coordinator. He is replacing Mike McFarland, who stepped down after accepting the head coaching position at Redlands High School in California.
"Andy and I have crossed paths throughout our careers and have worked with some of the same people. We couldn't have asked for a better guy to make the transition to coach our offensive line than Andy," said Missouri S&T head coach Tyler Fenwick. "His knowledge of what we do offensively will allow us to continue to develop our players on the same path instantly. He will be able to jump right in to spring practice on Monday and get the guys going."
"I am extremely happy to have Andy returning as a member of the Miner family," said S&T director of athletics Mark Mullin. "He brings a wealth of experience to our program. He will be a great addition to our football staff and an outstanding representative of Miner Athletics. Andy's technical expertise and personable nature will make a positive impact on our football program, our department, our campus, and the local community. "
During Ball's previous stint on the Miner staff, the Miners set offensive records during the 2008 season when they captured the Great Lakes Football Conference title, as they racked up 4,945 offensive yards – a mark that was just broken in 2017 – and averaged 37. 1 points per game. The Miners' best offensive day in school history, a 697-yard performance against Kentucky Wesleyan, also came during that year as S&T recorded a 7-4 record.
In 2007, the Miners led NCAA Division II in kickoff returns, as the unit averaged 27.2 yards per runback and returned four of those kicks for touchdowns. Ashton Gronewold, who had two of those touchdown returns, was among the national leaders in kickoff return yardage that season.
In his four seasons at Missouri S&T, Ball helped produce 10 players on the offensive line that earned all-conference honors, including two that were named as the offensive lineman of the year in the conference.
After the 2010 season, Ball moved on to Truman State, where he served as the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator for the Bulldogs for four years. Truman had two All-America performer in placekicker Derek Koon and punter Eric Phillips, as well as seven all-conference defensive linemen during his tenure. The Bulldog special teams unit routinely ranked among the national leaders in several categories in those four seasons.
Ball served as the offensive line coach at Missouri Western during the 2015 and 2016 seasons and coached six players that were all-conference selections for a unit that averaged 218 yards per game on the ground in his second year on the staff. Last year, Ball served as the head coach at St. Joseph Central High School where he mentored Bobby Lawrence, who signed to play at the University of Missouri.
"Andy has the experience in recruiting to S&T and understands the type of student athlete we are looking for," Fenwick said. "He also has the familiarity with the GLVC and understands what the league is about. Our staff and I look forward to working with him."
Before his initial stint at Missouri S&T, Ball was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Central Missouri – where he earned his bachelor's degree from in 2002 and his master's degree two years later – and was an assistant coach at Culver-Stockton College for three seasons as the offensive line coach and special teams coordinator.