Francis was a four-year member of MVNU men’s basketball. In July, he was the victim of a boating accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. While receiving treatment in Atlanta, Georgia, Francis passed away from a blood clot that reached his heart.
"Andy was one of the most special young men I've ever had the privilege to coach,” said Scott Flemming, MVNU men’s basketball head coach from 1990 to 2010. “He was ‘Mr. Consistency,’ was a great teammate, a leader, and a strong person of faith. He demonstrated over and over again that the team came before his own interests. I could always count on him, and he was always ready to help others. I have no doubt where he is now. Well done, faithful servant.”
Andy is the son of Craig and Tracy Francis of Sidney, Ohio. Andy had numerous ties to MVNU, including his wife, Jena, who was also an alum and a 2009 member of the MVNU women’s soccer program.
“The MVNU Athletic Department grieves alongside the Francis family with the passing of Andy,” said Aaron Quinn, director of athletics. “The positive impact to Mount Vernon Nazarene University by Andy and his family members should not be overlooked.”
Francis’ death is one of a few recent losses for the MVNU Athletics, including Nathan Beem, 2015-2016 men's soccer team member, and Joel Perez, MVNU baseball’s record base stealer.
“I had the privilege of interacting briefly with Andy on four or five different occasions, and I always came away thinking he was such a genuinely kind person,” said Jared Ronai, current men’s basketball head coach. “He would come to a few games a year with his son, and you could tell the love he had for MVNU. I am heartbroken for his wife, Jena, and his two kids, Cooper and Josie. We pray that God gives them strength and comfort during this time.”
A service honoring his life will be held 18 September at 11 a.m. at the Impact Worship Center, 160 Woodruff Road in Mansfield, Ohio.
Andy is survived by his wife, Jena, and their two children, Cooper and Josie.
Prayer is requested for the Francis and MVNU families.