BASKING RIDGE, NJ -- Andy West will be moving up from defensive coordinator to become the new varsity head football coach at Ridge High School.
West's hiring was approved Monday night by the Bernards Board of Education. He replaces Bill Tracy, who stepped down as Ridge's head coach after 11 seasons, including an 8-2 season last fall.
A 2000 graduate of Ridge High School who played three sports at the school, West ran the defense for Tracy for the last several seasons at Ridge.
"I've had the pleasure of knowing Andy since 2012, when he became our freshman coach," Tracy said. "We quickly moved him up to varsity, where he was an assistant with us for our 12-0 team in 2013.
"I know he'll do a tremendous job with the kids," Tracy said. "He will keep the program going, and bring some of his own ideas, too. He cares deeply about the kids, and I am very happy for both Andy and for the kids. The program is in good hands."
Although West was the defensive coordinator, he assisted in several facets with the varsity program in recent years.
"I was very happy in the role I was in, but when Bill decided to move on and the opportunity presented itself, I decided it was something I wanted to pursue," West said. "Bill and I worked closely together in every aspect and I was able to contribute on both sides of the ball."
West played football and baseball and also swam when he was a student at Ridge High School in the early 2000s. He is a guidance counselor at William Annin Middle School, and is an assistant coach in Ridge's swim program in the winter and in baseball in the spring, when he serves as the pitching coach alongside head coach Tom Blackwell--who is also part of the football staff, one that West hopes will largely return intact.
"We have a great staff," West said. "Bill was a tremendous head coach and a person of great faith. Ridge was blessed to have him lead the program for 11 years. He taught us well as coaches. Our program has dedicated players who are passionate and very adaptable."