May 30th, 2022 | Josh Adelman

Soldiers To Sidelines honors US Army Veteran Andrea Lorenz Ph.D. as the May Coach of the Month for her enduring commitment to coaching mastery. Andrea has been coaching for over 20 years while educating herself in all aspects of sports. She has degrees in Engineering Technology, Computer Science, and a Ph.D. in Physical education. In addition, she holds certifications in Strength and Conditioning, Group Fitness, Kickboxing, Cycling, Nutrition, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Track and Field. Her relentless pursuit of knowledge is inspirational.   

Her thirst for knowledge has led to a tremendous coaching career in volleyball, softball, basketball, and fitness. She has coached at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels. “I got into coaching because I love playing. I still wanted to be involved in sports, so I started volunteering at the church and then branched out from there. Coaching has helped me have more grace and communicate in a way that teaches and encourages,” says Lorenz. 

There’s a saying that to be a great coach, you must be a great educator. Coach Lorenz epitomizes this statement. She has taught several courses at the collegiate level, such as Exercise and Biomechanics, Adaptive PE, Sport Physiology, and Media and Communications at American Sports University. But it was her military experience that influenced her coaching philosophy most. She says, “my military experience taught me the importance of quality of work versus quantity. When I am conducting practice, every task is working on a skill, more intense practice time, less walking around, and unproductive time.” 

Coach Lorenz is equally proud of all her athletes and does not have any favorites. However, she tells us of a moment that warms her heart. “I coached a girls basketball team at Bonita Vista High School in San Diego. We were in a tournament during the preseason, and we looked like a hot mess like we didn’t have a coach. I knew I needed to get them to buy-in. The next practice, I told the team I failed them and got outcoached, but it would not happen again. I wrote up a playbook. I let our players change the names of the plays. They got so into it they used Starbucks drinks for the name of the plays. It took about two weeks to learn the playbook. We had our last preseason game, and we won 51-1. When the varsity coach showed up to play, we met outside, and he asked about the score. I answered 51-1, and he said, “it’s ok; it will get better.” I replied, “We won!” And we never lost another game that season. That team will always have a special place in my heart.” 

It can be difficult for a female coach to gain support in a male-dominated industry. Andrea’s persistence and standards of excellence helped her persevere through some challenging moments. She remembers one tough situation. “My most difficult coaching position was coaching for an Athletic Director that did not support the women’s teams. It was horrible! I couldn’t get equipment, the field was never ready, and I ended up leaving the program. I learned to make sure whoever I coached respected title IX and believed in women’s sports as much as I did.”   

This instance proved to fuel her ambition to affect change for women. She has recently accepted a role as the President of the Los Angeles Chapter of NABMW (National Association of Black Military Women). She tells us how she fell into her new position. “In October of last year, I went to the Women’s Veterans Alliance annual meeting. It was eye-opening to learn about the need for trauma some women veterans have and the unique difficulties with transitioning out of the military. I wanted to help be part of the solution, so I connected with the National President of the NABMW. She assigned me to the position of Public Relations of the Los Angeles Chapter, which led me to be the Treasure because there was a need. When the President resigned, I decided to take on this role mainly because I could see a grand vision. I believe if I do the grunt work re-establishing the Los Angeles Chapter, we can get back to the business of helping veterans.” 

Based on Andrea’s experience, education, and passion, we believe she will find a way to incorporate coaching and athletics into her new role. We are excited to see how many military women she inspires to become impactful coaches. We are humbled to award Andrea Lorenz the May 2022 Coach of the Month.