1-on-1: Andy Talley uses the 'power for football' for the greater good

Matt Leon
August 23, 2019 - 2:48 pm

Matt Leon/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Andy Talley was the head football coach at Villanova University for more than three decades before he retired following the 2016 season. Now, he devotes his time to working for his foundation. 

The Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation helps register people to be bone marrow donors. 

Talley founded the organization years ago after hearing on the radio about the shortage of bone marrow donors. The foundation works with college programs across the country, hosting drives to get people onto the donor registry. 

"Being able to get the power of college football behind you is incredible," Talley said. "Then once one of the universities that works with us has a lifesaver — somebody who donates and saves a life — now you've got them. It's just a great, great story. How wonderful to take the terrifc sport of football and use it for good."

Talley won 230 games in 32 seasons as the head coach at Villanova. His 2009 team won the FCS National Championship. 

He also had a lot of special players come through his program, including running back Brian Westbrook. Talley remembers making sure that the Eagles were aware of Westbrook's talent prior to the 2002 NFL Draft.

"(Former Eagles head coach) Andy Reid, I really have a lot of respect for. I like Andy Reid. Andy was a man of few words. He was at a banquet, and I was at a banquet one time, and I wasn't big on pushing our kids that way. I wanted them to get an education. If they played pro bal,l that was great. If not, I wanted them to have a degree.

"So I saw Andy and I walked past him and I said, 'Coach, I just want to let you know, our No. 20 is very special.' And he looked at me and winked, and never said a word. Never said a word. Now there's a guy who kept his cards close to the vest. "

Eagles drafted Westbrook in the third round that year. Safe to say, it worked out.

You can listen to the entire interview with Andy Talley on the KYW Newsradio original podcast 1-on-1 with Matt Leon. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

You can follow Matt Leon on Twitter @MattLeon1060.