Q&A with NCCU's Henry Frazier

February 3, 2012 

N.C. Central didn't exactly set the Football Championship Subdivision world on fire in Henry Frazier III's first season as head coach. The Eagles finished 2-9, but Frazier has been down this road before. It took his second year before turning around a dismal Prairie View A&M team that once lost 80 straight games.

With spring football just a few weeks away, Frazier talked about his inaugural season and what it's going to take to get the Eagles back on the winning track.

Durham News: Now that the season is over, assess your first year.

Henry Frazier: Naturally, I'm disappointed in the outcome. We didn't get it done on the field, and I'm as disappointed as anybody. I hate to lose as much as the next guy. But I've been down this road before and it's nothing new. We have laid a foundation for the future, and we're going to build on that.

DN: Did you at any point feel the players quit on you?

HF: No, never. If anybody had quit, they would have been off the team. We knew what we were dealing with coming in, and the guys played hard with the talent they had. You can't fight guys for playing hard. But now we have the chance to recruit and get some quality athletes in here and turn this thing around.

DN: With spring football a few weeks away, what are you looking for?

HF: The goal is still to have a winning season, that's always going to be No. 1.

I think the players that are returning understand what we expect, how we're going to do things and that we expect to be a better football program in 2012. Once we get our recruits in, then we can look toward the spring and see where we're at.

DN: Has your 2-9 record hurt recruiting?

HF: Some will be turned off by your record, but that's OK. We're not looking for someone who thinks he's going to come in and change the entire program.

We're looking for those that want to make a difference, who understand what we're trying to do here and want to be a part of building a program, not having it wrapped around them. And that takes finding special guys to say "Hey coach, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make NCCU football successful."

DN: You once said at a luncheon that you want your players to be the total student-athlete. Explain.

HF: We have a five-prong approach to recruiting. We want to develop them physically and mentally; we're going to make sure they go to study hall and do everything they're supposed to do in the classroom. But we want them to enjoy college, too.

They can't be football players 24/7. Our doors will always be open, and we want them to be able to come and talk to us about anything without judgment.

DN: Is there anything you would do differently in your first year?

HF: We may change our teaching approach because everyone doesn't learn the same, so you have to adjust your strategy to each individual. If they don't understand something in practice, I want them to come to me and tell me.

bonitta.best

@triangletribune.com

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