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New coach looks to build foundation at N.C. Central
Two games into his first season as North Carolina Central football coach, Henry Frazier III clearly isn’t pleased with his team’s penchant for committing penalties and dropping passes.
But his Eagles, who play host to Elon University in their home opener Saturday night, also have yet to balk in the face of challenging work.
And it’s impossible for the even-keeled Frazier not to embrace a consistent, workmanlike approach.
“I think we’ve gotten better every week since training camp,” he said. “I like the fact that we play hard. I like the fact that they give me everything they’ve got. Those are things that, as a football coach, you can build on.”
The 43-year-old Frazier is no stranger to construction projects.
In his previous job as coach of Prairie View A&M, he spent seven seasons remaking a perennial doormat into a championship program in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Prairie View A&M climbed from the ashes of extreme losing — the Panthers once were defeated in 80 consecutive games — to a 32-9 record and the 2009 SWAC title during Frazier’s last four years.
Now at N.C. Central, he has inherited an evolving program that’s investing deeper in football.
N.C. Central just completed a five-year reclassification move up from Division II. For the first time, the Eagles are eligible for Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships and Division I postseason play.
On the field, N.C. Central was routed by Rutgers 48-0 before dropping a 42-3 beatdown on Division II Central State last week.
“This will be a learning lesson against Elon,” Frazier said. “How do we respond after a win? We had an opportunity to respond after a loss, so now we get a chance to see how we’re going to respond after a win.”
Frazier said the Eagles’ primary focus for this week is cleaning up blunders.
N.C. Central was called for 16 penalties against Central State, increasing its frustrating total on the season to 25. And after dropping nine passes at Rutgers, N.C. Central dropped seven more last week.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Frazier said. “We just ain’t going to win a lot of ball games making those kind of mistakes. I don’t know exactly what’s contributing to them, but I’ve got to figure it out, because that’s my job.”
By Adam Smith, Times-News