NCCU’s Frazier among candidates for Prairie View A.D. job

May. 30, 2013 @ 11:11 PM

N.C. Central football coach Henry Frazier III is among six finalists who could emerge as director of athletics at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, where he coached before coming to Durham.

Each finalist has been given a date to share his or her vision for Prairie View athletics at open forums with alumni, students, faculty, staff and the general public, and Frazier is scheduled to make his case during a June 6 return to the campus where he reversed the fortunes of what had been a miserable football program.

“I have had the good fortune of not just serving as a head football coach, but also the CEO of a two impressive multi-million dollar football programs,” Frazier said. “This combined with my experience and education as a doctoral candidate afford me many opportunities in higher education. I have high career aspirations and have drawn administrative interest many times in the past. While I am extremely happy leading the NCCU football program, this opportunity is of interest to me and I decided to pursue it. I feel honored to be thought of as a leader in higher education and to have the support of NCCU.”

No hard feelings, NCCU athletics director Ingrid Wicker-McCree said.

“I support all of my staff in their career-advancement decisions,” Wicker-McCree said. “ While our mission as an institution of higher education is to prepare our students academically and professionally to become leaders, I also believe in the professional development of my staff and take pride that other employers recognize their abilities. While the timing may not be ideal, opportunities come during all seasons and phases of our lives and we have to embrace these opportunities. Regardless of the outcome of this process, we continue to support Coach Frazier and his plan for our football program.”

NCCU is coming off of its first winning season since 2007, finishing 6-2 in 2012, 5-3 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Frazier during spring drills didn’t stutter when plainly stating that the goal this season is a conference championship and the accompanying berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. The Eagles were in the hunt for a conference championship a year ago before losing steam toward the end of the season and settling for third place.

This would be Frazier’s third season at NCCU, where his work to bolster a fledging Division I program has drawn all sorts of praise from his peers in the MEAC.

NCCU became a Division I football program in 2011, Frazier’s first season with the Eagles.

Frazier arrived at NCCU after turning around a struggling Prairie View program that had 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, which included a Southwestern Athletic Conference title.

Frazier, who is pursuing a doctorate degree through Prairie View, used to be the head football coach at Bowie State University in Maryland.

The other finalists in the running to become Prairie View’s next athletics director — Tamica Smith-Jones, Troy Mathieu, Shelly Davis-Hill,  Derrick Ramsey and Ashley Robinson — already are working in athletics administration on college campuses. Frazier is the lone coach in the bunch.