Adam Andre was a giant in Coquitlam’s lacrosse community, even though he wasn’t very big of stature.
And while his accomplishments may not earn him recognition in a hall of fame, he’s left an indelible mark in the youth game where he served as president of Coquitlam Minor Lacrosse in the 1980s, as well as his subsequent tenure in the 1990s as general manager of the Jr. Adanacs, says the team’s current GM Scott Wortley.
Andre died last weekend at the age of 79.
Wortley played for the Adanacs when Andre was in charge.
He said the diminutive native of Saskatchewan who favoured a goatee had a huge influence on his own life and trajectory through the sport.
“He was part of the foundation of the game,” he said of Andre, who first got involved with lacrosse as he guided his sons through the sport’s minor levels. One of them, Lance, became Wortley’s teammate on the Jr. Adanacs that his dad was running.
Wortley said Andre was driven by his love for lacrosse more than his knowledge of the sport.
He sweated the details like making travel arrangements or assembling sandwiches for road trips so the players could concentrate on the game to come.
“He looked after all those little things you don’t think about,” Wortley said. “He always made sure we were looked after.”
But if a player pushed the boundaries too far, he added, they were sure to know about it.
Wortley said Andre had a “presence” that announced he was in charge, although, he added, “he wasn’t intimidating.” In fact, “He was one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet.”
Wortley said those qualities helped to build a culture of community and caring within the ranks of Coquitlam lacrosse that continues to this day.
It’s a spirit he likes to think he employs in his own management of the Jr. Adanacs that fosters homegrown talent and a tradition of excellence.
At the minor level, Andre’s love for community is embodied by the annual tyke and mini-tyke tournament that’s named after his wife Jean, who passed away in late 2020.
“His legacy is that sense of community he brought to the sport,” Wortley said, adding the Jr. Adanacs will find a way to honour Andre this coming season, as well as longtime volunteer Marc Lalonde, who died in November 2020 but couldn’t be recognized when the 2021 season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic.