Frazier shifts competitive focus from court to classroom
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
The difference is that after July 1, when he takes over as the Weakley County Director of Schools, all Frazier's competitive energy will be focused on making the schools and students within their classrooms in Weakley County the best they can be.
"I've always had the same attitude as an administrator as I have had as a coach. I always want our kids to do their best academically. I want our kids to be first in the classroom. I want to carry that competition over into our classrooms," said the man who was also the Gleason principal for the past 14 years.
Every basketball fan in West Tennessee and across the state knows that when Frazier puts his plan in place, more often than not he is successful. The 613 total victories and three state championships tell only part of the story that has been Gleason basketball over the past two-plus decades.
Frazier fit perfectly with the passionate fans and players of Gleason when he took over the Lady Bulldog helm in 1986.
"I was blessed to be in a great situation and blessed to be part of something that was important to the community," the Lady Dawg mentor said. "I grew up in a great small town in Greenfield, and I was blessed to coach in another great small town in Gleason. I had a lot of great players who were dedicated to working hard and to our system."
Pulling players from such a small population and turning those young girls into winners didn't happen without a vision.
"It's a building process at a small school. It's not so much a day-to-day thing but year-to-year," the 17-time coach of the year said.
For the coach turned administrator, the regular interactions with the players in the gym are what will be missed.
"I enjoyed competing in tournaments and advancing, but the thing I'll miss the most is the day-to-day stuff with the players," Frazier stated.
In a perfect world for Frazier, the move to the Director of Schools position would have happened one year from now instead of in 2009. With the move from the sideline to the county office, Frazier will miss out on coaching his daughter Jenna and her classmates for their senior season.
"This season is gonna be tough. The biggest thing will be watching those kids who you've coached for so long. It will be different to see Jenna and Taylor (Stout) and the other girls out there," he said. "The timing is not always the way you want it to be. Their senior year will be different, but they understand."
Frazier already has experience separating the coach role from that of the father. Watching from the bleachers as Jenna Frazier's twin brother Preston plays basketball has taught him that.
"I'll have more of a parent role this year. I've always tried to separate those. When I'm acting as a parent, I'm not a coach, and when I'm a coach, I'm not a parent," Frazier said.
Another issue will be staying neutral when the Lady Dawgs take the court against county rivals Greenfield and Dresden.
"It will be tough. I can't say I'll be completely neutral. I've got to pull for my girls," the new county leader laughed.
With his new duties limited strictly to the office and not on the sideline, Frazier knows there may come a time when the coaching bug will bite again.
"I'm young enough that you never know. I always wanted to coach on the college level, but I hope and intend to do the best I can right now for the Weakley County School System," Frazier noted. "I'm looking forward to a new challenge. I've got a great opportunity here at a time in education when I can have the greatest impact."