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There is little doubt that Bill Frazier is one of the first names to come to mind when the greatest local high school coaches are discussed.
William Harry Frazier was a native of Moscow, Idaho where he earned all-state honors as a high school athlete in basketball, football and baseball.
After a year at the University of Idaho, Bill transferred to Gonzaga University where he quarterbacked the school’s football team, being honored as All-Coast for his skills at that position in 1931 and 1932.
After graduation, Frazier became head football coach at Mead High School in 1933, a position he held for six years until being named both football and baseball coach at Gonzaga High School in 1939. He had found his home, and for the next 34 years guided the success of the Bullpups in both sports.
Bill only had five losing seasons in football during his tenure at the school. Four teams were undefeated, including the10-0 1963 squad.. That team is recognized by many as the best high school football team ever in the Spokane area.
His football teams won or tied for the Spokane City League championship fifteen times. Coach Frazier also guided Gonzaga Prep baseball to sixteen league crowns. His 1971 baseball team was 29-3, believed to be the best in city history.
His overall record in football was 159-67-10 in league play and 204-81-13 overall, a 70 percent winning margin. In baseball, the record was 253-129.
During his time at Gonzaga Prep, Bill also coached basketball and track. His 1946 basketball team was City League co-champion and qualified for the state tournament.
After retirement, his former players kept him busy with constant visits and contacts. He was an avid golfer and shot his age well into his 80s. He was named into numerous Hall of Fames, both locally and state wide. Bill Frazier passed away in 2000 at the age of 91.
One quote at his induction into Gonzaga University’s Hall of Fame best summed up his coaching philosophy. “Toughness tempered with love and humanity”.
S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the Gonzaga Prep vs. Mead game. Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.
S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered Shadle's game against Gonzaga Prep. Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.
S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the GSL showdown between Gonzaga Prep and Ferris. Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.
S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the Gonzaga Prep vs. Mt. Spokane game. Check out a big picture gallery of his photos.
PADDLING – Gonzaga Prep wresters are pinning their annual fundraising goals on a 17-foot cedar-strip canoe they built with their own hands.
“We started during summer and we’re just doing the hand-caned bamboo seas and putting the finishing touches on it,” team Coach Danny Pearson said last week.
The team is selling tickets to raffle the canoe in a drawing that will be held at the school on Tuesday (Dec. 13).
Click here to see the work in progress and raffle form
Assistant coach Dane Vulcan recruited his father, Doug, to teach the team how to build a Minnesota Canoe Association guide-model boat. Doug Vulcan, a retired wrestling coach in Montana, has been building canoes for 30 years and conducts workshops on the craft.
“Doug is a canoe guru and was really involved last year when we built our first cedar canoe,” Pearson said. “This year he came over to supervise, but we had students and coaches who’d been involved with the first canoe and we could do a lot more of the work.”
Vulcan helped the team build their own forms to shape the elegant canoe that requires a long series of steps to construct. The flat-bottom, no-keel tandem boat is made of Western red cedar strips with mahogany gunwales, thwarts and face plates. It weighs 70 pounds and has a 750-pound capacity.
“Caning the seats is the most tedious work,” Pearson said. “It requires sitting down for hours and weaving."
The coach went on to explain why they're taking the hands-on approach to fundraising:
“Team building a big part of why we do this. We could sell frozen pizzas to raise money for our travel and equipment, but there’s little benefit to the students other than the money.
“But in building the canoe, the kids come up, sp end a day or two working with each other, milling down the boards, running the table saw and route, troubleshooting and figuring out problems.
“It’s a way for the wrestling team to spend time together other than wrestling.
“This isn’t the easiest or most efficient way to make money, but we want to have a community aspect to our program, and this seems to be a winner.”
- Canoe raffle tickets are $10, available at Gonzaga Preparatory School, 483-8511.
Call this a prep playoff primer. Or, everything else I couldn’t get into our postseason information box today. And a few other things. Pictured above is Coeur d'Alene running back/linebacker Reece Mahaffy two weeks ago against Lake City.
Click the extended tab below to read more.
And as always, feel free to comment. What are your predictions for the games this week?
Remember, I'll be tweeting scores Friday. My Twitter address is: @srpreps
Always nice to have an NBA All Star on your bench. Gonzaga Prep girls varsity basketball coach Mark Arte kneels on the floor as Assistant Coach John Stockton watches, seated, behind him during a game against Shadle Tuesday. Stockton's daughters are members of the team. (SR photo: Christopher Anderson)
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Question: Did you ever coach when of your kid(s) teams? Did a parent of yours ever coach one of your sports teams?
Mike Redmond, the former Gonzaga Prep and Gonzaga University star, will make his managing debut with the Lansing (Mich.) Lugnuts of the Midwest League, a Single-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 39-year-old played last season with the Cleveland Indians, appearing in 22 games. The former catcher spent 13 seasons at the Major League level, with three different clubs – Florida, Minnesota and Cleveland – batting .287 with 13 home runs and 243 RBIs in 764 career games.