Army veteran Lavallie excited about opportunity as Valley Central coach

By Justin Rodriguez

Section 9 Football Insider

New Valley Central football coach Andrew Lavallie’s resume includes only two bullet points of coaching experience.

Lavallie once coached an ROTC women’s basketball team from Ohio State at a tournament at Notre Dame and he served as a volunteer assistant for Valley Central’s jayvee boys’ basketball team last year. He’s never coached a down of football.

However, what Lavallie lacks in coaching experience, he makes up for in life experience. Captain Andrew Lavallie retired from the U.S. Army last year after seven years, which included a combat tour in Afghanistan in 2012 in which he led a platoon of 19 men.

There are many intangibles that Lavallie developed serving his country that could translate to possible success for the Vikings.

“Coach Lavallie is a true leader, he leads by example,” Valley Central quarterback Nate Depew said. “He never asks us to do anything he won’t do. He runs with us, he presents himself well and he just has a lot of energy. I think Coach Lavallie is that sparkplug that you need. He has the guys around him to be successful, the players, and the coaches. It will be a learning experience, but he will succeed.”

(Valley Central quarterback Nate Depew)

Lavallie, 31, replaces Ron Introini who stepped down after19 seasons in December to spend more time with his family. The Vikings went 2-7 last season under Introini’s watch. Lavallie only came to Valley Central a year ago and is a Social Studies teacher at the high school.

His wife, Denyse, is a Cornwall native and they wanted to relocate near her hometown. Andrew Lavallie previously worked at Ohio State University, preparing ROTC students for the U.S. Army. He is a native of Ticonderoga, located near Albany.

Lavallie played defensive end and tight end at Ticonderoga High and went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree at Albany University. He served in the U.S. Army for seven years.

“(Valley Central athletic director) Bill Miller told me that he wanted a leader and I’m that type of person,” Lavallie said. “I always wanted to coach football and I’m going to move forward full steam ahead. I’m very passionate about developing young men into future leaders. I’m extremely optimistic.”

As for his lack of coaching experience, Lavallie said: “The X’s and O’s I will develop and I think the players will buy in. I’m looking to build the program from the ground up. I know there will be a learning curve, but I’m looking at the long term. I feel like I have the guys around me to help me.”

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