Andre Christo Jacobs
13 November 1952 – 26 April 2023
Andre Jacobs’ first encounter with St Andrew’s College was when he was a teacher at the school from 1980 to 1983. At the end of this period he took over the reigns as the rugby coach of the College 1st XV for a solitary season before relocating to Cape Town in 1983.
Following a stint at Bishops in the Western Cape from 1984 to 1988, he returned to College in 1989 as an Afrikaans teacher and rugby coach. In 1990 he was made Housemaster of Espin House and made a return as the coach of the College 1st XV rugby team in the same year. He ascended to become a Senior Housemaster in 1996. For his long-standing service and contribution to the school Andre was conferred as an Honorary Old Andrean prior to his departure from the school in 1998.
Andre made his indelible mark at College in the rugby sphere with his particular style of coaching, taking the concept of ‘running rugby’ to the next level. The boys he coached and his fellow colleagues remember him as a hard task master, a nurturer of inspirational leaders with a naturally beady eye for talent. In the almost decade that he served as master-in charge of rugby he cultivated a style of rugby, that in his own words when describing the 1st XV of 1991, was “adventurous, skillful and disciplined”. His time as the helm of College rugby was a golden era which matched the greatness of the teams of the 1st XV of late 1920s and early 1960s and catapulted the Boys in Blue to once again being a recognised force in schoolboy rugby circles.
Andre was also a much revered Housemaster with hundreds of boys having passed through College in Espin House under his guardianship. In the boarding school setting of a “home away from away” Andre created a disciplined yet welcoming culture in the corridors of Espin. As the years rolled on Espin House became synonymous with sporting excellence, with Espin boys being consistent features of first teams across the sporting codes and Espin being regular winners of inter-house rugby and athletics competitions. Andre was fiercely loyal to his Espin boys and reveled in their individual and collective successes in the school.
Andre was supported in his College career by his wife Ronelle who worked in the St Andrew’s College Finance Department for many years. She was very involved in the every-day life of the school, particularly over busy sporting weekends when she often spent all of Saturday manning the tuck shop on Lower field.
Andre is survived by his wife Ronelle, daughters Leandre, Rozelle and Chrizaan and son Morne. Our condolences are also extended to his close brother Leon, with whom he shared his great passion for rugby, coaching and teaching.