Flashback: Racer Legend Shane Andrus



MSU's head coach at the time, Denver Johnson didn't express an interest in Andrus until midway through his senior year. But, it probably wouldn't have made any difference if the Racers had gotten involved earlier because Andrus was a blue-to-the-bone Kentucky fan. And when the Wildcats offered him the opportunity to walk on he jumped at it.

"I was always a Kentucky fan," he said. "Basketball, football, everything. I grew up on it.  They offered me preferred walk-on status. I had always wanted to go to Kentucky and I wanted to get away from home, so I kind of liked everything about it."

Unfortunately, things didn't work out as well as he had hoped in Lexington. Andrus left Murray two days after graduation so that he could take a couple of summer school classes at U.K. But, he was homesick and he didn't work out much during the summer. Then, he missed two-a-days in order to visit Murray which did not endear him to the coaches, and put him even further behind Kentucky's other kickers.

"When I went back I had to start over," Andrus said. "I didn't want to work as hard, coming from high school where we didn't have to work hard. But, when you get to college you figure out how much dedication you have to have, and I had to learn the hard way. I got up there and I worked out with the varsity. But I wasn't happy, and it was reflected in my kicking. My mind wasn't anywhere near where it should be."

Andrus did get to dress when the 'Cats played in the Music City Bowl that year. And, his stay at Kentucky had it's lighter moments.

"I hit Coach Mumme in the head with the ball in practice one day," he recalled. "I was practicing the angle out of bounds punt. Coach Bassett started yelling and going off on me, but everybody else was laughing."

Still, in the end, he wanted to come back to Murray.

"I went back up there to start the spring semester," he recalled. "I got up there the first day and I decided I just wanted to come home."              

So, Andrus came back home and enrolled for the spring semester at Murray State. He wasn't eligible to play any sport because his grades were too low. But, he talked with Joe Pannunzio, the Racers' new head coach and was assured that he'd have a chance to win a scholarship if he got his grades in order.

After the spring semester Andrus regained his eligibility and the next fall Pannunzio invited him to try out for the team.