Athletic director from Union takes prestigious seat

David Frazier

UNION, NJ — Congratulations are due to David Frazier, director of athletics at Rutherford High School and former New Jersey State Interscholastic Sports Association Executive Committee president, as the Union Township resident has earned an illustrious seat to serve as an at-large member of the National Federation of State High School Associations board of trustees. His four-year term was announced earlier this month.

“I was formally appointed on July 1, 2020, at the NFHS National Council meeting,” Frazier said on July 24. “The National Federation of High School Associations is the national leader and advocate for high school athletics. The NFHS writes the playing rules for high school sports and provides guidance on various national issues. The goal of the association is to ensure students have an opportunity to enjoy healthy participation, achievement and good sportsmanship in education-based athletics.”

Frazier is ready to take on the challenges that come with this new position.

“As the Section 1 and 4 at-large BOT member, I am responsible as a representative to serve the interests of those two sections on the national level,” Frazier said. “Section 1 encompasses New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Section 4 encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin. I vote on their behalf and interests in rules, regulations, policies, changes, etc.”

The NFHS board conducts general business, interprets the organization’s constitution and bylaws, exercises all powers and duties expressed or implied in the constitution and bylaws, and acts as an administrative board in the interpretation of and final decision on all questions arising from directing NFHS affairs, according to a media release.

According to the media release, NFHS at-large representatives are typically acting principals, superintendents or other educational leaders.

Identifying today’s climate with that of the trials and tribulations of being an athlete, Frazier — keeping in mind his own past as a former Division 1 All-American triple jumper — said the difficulties of being an athlete seem small when compared to those of persons of color.

“Actually, I’m not sure my being a former athlete has much to do with identifying the tribulations and hardships in dealing with social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement,” Frazier said. “The main issue of Black Lives Matter deals with the social injustices towards people of color. It has obviously become more mainstream and more people in America and around the world have become more aware since the death of George Floyd. What I can say is that the hardships of being an athlete pale in comparison to the hardships that people of color have and continue to endure.”

In addition to his new position, the New Jersey native has his hands full, as he currently chairs the NJSIAA’s COVID-19 Sports Advisory Task Force, Eligibility Appeals Committee, and the NJSIAA Advisory Committee.

“The NJSIAA COVID-19 Task Force is comprised of mostly athletic directors from around the state — eight including myself — who are analyzing national trends regarding the COVID pandemic and how we can best return to sports in New Jersey,” Frazier said. “We are looking at multiple models from now to the end of the school year that allow student-athletes an opportunity to participate should the pandemic cause a disruption in the ’20-’21 school year. As chairperson, I am responsible for keeping us on task and taking the great ideas of each of my colleagues and directing us toward a common goal: getting the kids of New Jersey back to athletics as quickly as possible, in a safe manner, and one that focuses on their education.”

Having previously been a member and president of the NJSIAA Executive Committee, Frazier said he believes his passion and past experiences have shaped him for this new position.

“Serving on various committees throughout my career continues to prepare and teach me to get the best out of the people you work with,” Frazier said. “It is not about egos or about individual accolades. It’s about our passion for high school athletics and serving the student-athletes of New Jersey. I am fortunate that this is an excellent group to work with.”

As to this new opportunity, Frazier is humbled to have been nominated.

“I am truly honored to have been nominated and excited to now be a member of the NFHS board of trustees,” Frazier said. “I have the utmost respect for the organization and think their mission and beliefs are in line with my personal beliefs on high school athletics. I am really looking forward to working with a great group of professionals and hope I can serve the sections I represent and the BOT to make a positive impact on how high school sports are governed in the country.”