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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

This is David Frazier

By Jennifer Ersalesi

David Frazier

TIR: Now that you are an at-large member and part of the Board of the Directors of the National Federation of State High School (NFHS) Associations, what are you most excited about as you take on this new role?

David Frazier: I am truly honored to have been nominated and excited to now be a member of the NFHS Board of Trustees. Working on the national stage is going to be exciting all in itself. I have the utmost respect for the organization and think their mission and beliefs are in line with my personal beliefs on high school athletics. I am really looking forward to working with a great group of professionals. I hope I can serve the sections I represent and the Board of Trustees to make a positive impact on how high school sports are governed in the country. TIR: Colleen Maguire, NJSIAA Chief Operating Officer, nominated you for this position, how did you feel when you learned you were nominated and ultimately appointed? DF: I have worked with Colleen since she has come on board with the NJSIAA and I knew right away from speaking with her she was going to be an integral part of the organization. She and I share a common vision of what high school sports should be. Because of my respect for her, I was truly honored that she thought to nominate me for the position.

TIR: As chair of the NJSIAA’s COVID-19 Sports Advisory Task, you and your committee have your hands full as you determine the best ways to continue athletic programs safely with all the uncertainty of this upcoming school year, how are you approaching this daunting task? DF: We have guiding principles that help to keep us focused on returning the student-athletes to athletics in a safe manner. We are constantly analyzing national trends on this pandemic and how we can best return to HS sports in NJ. We are looking at multiple models from now to the end of the school year that allow student-athletes an opportunity to participate should the pandemic cause a disruption in the 2020-2021 school year. I am fortunate to be chairing a great group of professionals that have a common goal in mind and are not looking at this from a selfish or personal standpoint but what's in the best interest of HS athletics.

TIR: You had a pretty awesome athletic career while at Rutherford High School as part of the Track team and were nominated into the RHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. You also won a number of championships and competed professionally in track and field where you ranked #1 in NJ and in the top 25 triple jumpers in the US. Additionally, you were nominated into the Manhattan College Hall of Fame in 2007. To what do you attribute those successes? How do those experiences help you inspire the athletes you work with each year? DF: I look back at my high school, college, and post-collegiate experiences in athletics as some of the best in my life. I was inspired by my coaches to be the best and not take shortcuts. That saying "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard" inspired me to get out there and work when no one was watching. I think that is the life lesson athletics really taught me. I was blessed with some talent but boy did I have to work hard to see the fruits of that labor. Most athletes who compete in track and field after college have talent so you can’t rely on that to succeed. That is the message I try to instill in our athletes... work hard, be accountable, and do it the right way.

TIR: As an RHS Graduate (1989), how has it felt to be the Athletic Director at the high school that you attended? DF: I never take for granted how fortunate I am to do the job I love at my alma mater! It is an awesome feeling to be a part of such a great tradition for so long and see the current and future bulldogs put their stamp on our athletic program. When I sign off Twitter or Instagram with #BulldogPride, that really means something to me!

Ray Frazier (David's father) and David

TIR: Did you have mentors who inspired you on your journey to get where you are today?

DF: Far too many mentors to mention... At every level, I had coaches that I learned something from and inspired me to reach my potential and goals. My college coach, Dan Mecca, is one coach who will always mean a great deal to me. He was more than a coach and I am happy that we are still very close today. The easy ones are my family. My mom and dad have always been my life coaches encouraging me to be the best person you can be. My siblings gave me goals to try and exceed in the playground and the athletic arena.

TIR: In your 19 years as an Athletic Director, it seems this pandemic could possibly be one of the biggest challenges you have faced, especially when the Spring sports season was canceled and this upcoming school year will be very different from years gone by. As the RHS Athletic Director, how are you preparing for this challenging school year? DF: There is no roadmap for this pandemic. It is probably the most challenging thing that most of us are facing in our lifetime. It was very disappointing losing the opportunity to see our athletes compete last spring. It means so much to so many kids in general. Last spring, this pandemic and working through its continued challenges mirrors how I used to train athletically. I had to be as prepared as I can be but also know that things are fluid and constantly changing and at any moment (just like in a competition) I’ll need to pivot and make an adjustment to try to succeed. In this case, being prepared is having contingency plans and succeeding is safely getting our kids through the school year and all the athletic seasons. I am hopeful we will all get there!

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