Liam Frawley has been with the South Orangetown school district for nine years and is the director of athletics, physical education, health and safety for the district. The 45-year-old New City resident has been an educator for 24 years, both as teacher and athletic trainer, coming to the district from the private Horace Mann School.
He is often asked to make presentations to other coaches during professional conferences and he recently had an article printed in “High School Today” on “The Value of Community Service in Interscholastic Athletics.” In 2013, Tappan Zee High School won the National Interscholastic Sports Program of Excellence Award, a big component of which was Frawley’s insistence on community service.
Why did you become an educator? “I had some coaches in high school that influenced me a great deal, so it was their impact and, I guess, the idea of paying it forward. I played baseball in high school and college and some of the coached I had — their influence was important … and I always felt that if I got the opportunity to do the same kind of work, I would love to do it.”
Hard-earned wisdom? “In teaching, especially for young teachers and administrators, listen more than you speak. There’s a lot of wisdom out there if you are willing to listen to it. Also, never give up on a kid. Too often, people will rule kids out — I wouldn’t want to be judged on stuff I did when I was a 16- or 17-year-old. We can’t dismiss any of them.”
Recommended book: “Insideout Coaching” by Joe Ehrmann. “Joe’s take on things, the platform that you have in athletics and the difference we can make. We’re there to be a positive effect on (kids). You have got a platform, an area of influence right there. You don’t know the effect you have on a kid.”