Birthdate: January 19, 1951
Birthplace: Kenton, Ohio
High School: Upper Sandusky (Ohio) High School (1969)
College: Ohio Northern (1973), Bowling Green State University (master’s)
Year Inducted: 2023
The game of basketball has evolved over the years because of true pioneers like Andra Bell. But before she became one of the most successful girls basketball coaches in Ohio, she learned the value of toil and teamwork as a standout performer and as a mentor in several different sports.
Bell was a natural athlete while growing up in Upper Sandusky and excelled in both hoops and softball at Ohio Northern University in the early 1970s. During that time, she was a four-year letter winner in softball and capped her career by leading the Polar Bears to a state championship over Ohio State in 1973, the first year of that tournament. She also led the ONU charge on the hardwood as the Bears reach the state semis.
Soon after, she returned to her alma mater and led Upper Sandusky High School to unprecedented success in girls basketball, posting a jaw-dropping record of 538-207 from 1973 to 2008. In those 34 years, the Lady Rams won 10 league championships and advanced to 21 sectional, eight district and three regional championships in the postseason. The 1995-96 team finished as state runner-up after losing the title game in overtime. Bell was named District 6 Coach of the Year eight times and won Ohio Coach of the Year honors three times – earning that coveted hardware in 1983, 1996 and 2002.
Bell also coached a handful of seasons for the softball and track and field squads – and won championships in each of those prep sports. Along with being an elite coach who helped grow the game, she continued to play competitive softball and flourished with the Celina Suns fast-pitch team and won multiple state titles with that team.
Bell is a member of the Upper Sandusky High School and Ohio Northern University hall of fame. She is now enshrined in the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame, entering at the age of 72.