Frazier, NCCU fans await decision from Prairie View
In the next few days, N.C. Central sports fans could find out if the coach who has their football team on the upswing will stick around a little longer or go back to where he resurrected a program that had been in even worse shape.
An announcement is expected this week about whether Henry Frazier III was able to beat out five other finalists to become the next director of athletics at Prairie View A&M in Texas, Prairie View spokeswoman Sheleah Reed said.
Frazier, who is pursuing a doctorate at the school where he previously coached, is the only active coach among the finalists, including 1991 Hillside graduate and NCCU alumna Shelley Davis-Hill.
Prairie View's search committee reviewed 42 applications for the job, Reed said, and 11 went through phone interviews. That number was whittled to six finalists, who each were given a date to share their vision for Prairie View athletics at open forums with alumni, students, faculty, staff and the general public.
When Frazier arrived at NCCU, he signed a five-year contract that began on Jan. 1, 2011, and paid $225,000 a year, putting him ahead of what Prairie View has been paying personnel to run its athletics department.
Until recently, Fred Washington, Prairie View's vice president of auxiliary services, was serving as interim athletics director. His annual salary is $151,252, according to texastribune.org, a nonprofit news blog.
Washington relinquished his role as athletics director to focus on auxiliary operations, according to a news release from the school. He received no additional compensation to fill in as the school's athletics director, said Paula Sandles, executive assistant to the vice president for business affairs at Prairie View.
The person running Prairie View's athletics department before Washington was earning $123,849.96 annually, Sandles said.
NCCU's football team is coming off its first winning season since 2007, finishing 6-5, 5-3 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Durham Rescue Mission stewardship officer and NCCU fan Ernie Mills Jr. said he would hate to see Frazier leave.
"Henry has been good for the Eagles football program,” Mills said. “He's been a friend to the Durham Rescue Mission and a good, personal friend of mine. I wish him nothing but the best. But I'll certainly miss him, if he goes."
Frazier, who previously was head coach at Bowie State, arrived at NCCU after resuscitating a Prairie View program that lost 80 games in a row from 1989-98, the nation’s longest losing streak. Frazier led Prairie View to consecutive winning records from 2007-10, including back-to-back 9-1 seasons in 2008 and 2009, entailing a Southwestern Athletic Conference title.