UNF alumni spotlight: Andrew Hannon

Steven Thompson

As a University of North Florida player, Andrew Hannon fondly recalls when the UNF baseball team played Southeastern Conference powerhouse Mississippi State. The UNF team won two of the three games, but the great spirit of the UNF baseball team did not end there. Playing together helped the team create strong bonds and lasting friendships.

That was Hannon’s sentiment when he was a player, and these influential bonds are present now that he is an assistant coach for the UNF men’s baseball team.

UNF assistant men’s baseball coach Andrew Hannon. Photo courtesy unfospreys.com

“Being in a team setting is one in which you get the opportunity to build life-long friendships,” Hannon said. “You can not talk to a buddy for five or six months and then pick up right where you left off.”

Hannon began playing baseball at the tender age of four. Not long after, he extended his interests to include basketball and golf. Of the three sports, it was with baseball that he discovered his passion.

He said that although his parents were supportive of his interests, they never pushed him to play one sport more than the others. As his passion for baseball grew, his father arranged for him to play on a team, even though he didn’t meet the age requirement. His advice to young boys pursuing similar interests is simple.

“If it’s your passion, go out and get it. We’re in a climate where people think you have to play one sport year round. Go out and enjoy multiple sports,” Hannon said. “Don’t set your sights on just one, and don’t let anybody tell you it has gotta be just one sport. If you like two or three, go out and play two or three.”

Hannon is a passionate Atlanta Braves fan. He remembers watching Braves games on TBS as a child. His favorite baseball player is retired Braves player and Hall of Famer, Chipper Jones. Hannon made a lifelong memory when he met Jones in Cooperstown this past summer.

In 2010, Hannon coached junior varsity baseball at Nease High School while also still an active player at UNF. As a player, he was able to understand the mechanics of the game, and as a coach, he could understand more clearly how the kids were being taught.

Hannon credits his father with being a tremendous influence and great man. In fact, Hannon and his father are so close, his father served as best man at his wedding.

Throughout his career he played multiple positions and earned an impressive .327 batting average. He’s even in the UNF record books for hits, games started and total bases.

Despite Hannon’s accomplishments as a player, he said personal records are just that, personal. At the end of the year, what really matters is whether or not you’re holding a championship trophy aloft.

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