NIU Huskies Vice President/Athletic Director Sean Frazier and the Huskies' Head Coaches help re-enact the opening credits from The Rockford Files for the Huskies Summer Circuit stop in Rockford on June 3 at Franchesco's.
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NIU (2013 -- Present)
In his third year as the Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics at Northern Illinois University, Sean T. Frazier is moving Huskie Athletics forward with an unwavering belief that "success comes to those who expect it" and a firm determination to instill an expectation of excellence throughout the department and beyond.
On the field, in the classroom, and the community, the expectations are turning into reality. In 2014-15, nine NIU teams finished in the top half of the Mid-American Conference, an increase of five teams from the previous year. The Huskie football team won its third MAC title in the last four years while continuing a run that has made NIU one of the winningest teams in the nation. NIU's men's tennis team, meanwhile, brought home its second regular season MAC Championship in as many seasons in 2015.
NIU also topped all MAC schools with a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent for all student-athletes in 2014, a mark that is seven points better than the national average. A school record 81 Huskie student-athletes were named Academic All-MAC last year, 31 received the MAC's Distinguished Scholar-Award and three earned Academic All-America honors. The cumulative GPA of Huskie student-athletes improved to 3.19 overall.
Since his arrival at NIU, Frazier has been firmly committed to Huskie Athletics' future with a particular focus on improved facilities to remain competitive on a national level. In 2014-15, two major announcements provided a road map. In October, Frazier presented the NIU Athletics Facilities Master Plan, the first facilities master plan for the department since 1991. During his tenure at NIU, he completed the installation of a new football turf field; on-campus indoor tennis practice courts; new and improved men's & women's soccer locker rooms; and unveiled a new basketball court and design. In May, he introduced a new departmental Strategic Plan, which detailed the mission, vision, core values and critical issues for the next three years.
Frazier brought four new head coaches to NIU in 2014-15 to lead the Huskie women's tennis, baseball, women's cross country and women's basketball programs. Frazier also has made football scheduling a top priority, signing home-and-home football agreements with San Diego State, BYU, Utah, Maryland, Tulsa, Vanderbilt, Boston College and South Florida.
In two years leading NIU Athletics, Frazier has worked tirelessly to engage the campus and local communities, expand the Huskies' fan base and connect with alumni across Chicagoland and beyond. He instituted the Huskie Summer Circuit, bringing coaches and staff to four sites throughout the region to meet and interact with fans while promoting NIU and Huskie Athletics.
After introducing the new Coaches Club at Huskie Stadium for 2014 to great reviews, NIU opened the new End Zone Club in 2015. Basketball's courtside seats have sold out for two years in a row and sales in the Convocation Center's premium area, the Nelson Club, continue to grow. Frazier also initiated "The Yard", the official pregame tailgate area for NIU football, which made its debut in 2014.
Fans have responded, as the Huskie Athletic Fund collected more than $1 million in cash gifts for the first time in 2014 and the annual fund grew by 24 percent. NIU also signed a new multimedia and sponsorship partnership with Learfield Sports, while the NIU Convocation Center, which became a part of Intercollegiate Athletics in 2013, attracted popular acts like Brad Paisley, Casting Crowns, Second City, and Monster Trucks to the area.
Frazier is the 11th permanent athletic director in NIU history and the first African-American to serve in the role. In 2014, he was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for his leadership in the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA). Since arriving at NIU, he has assumed a leadership role on campus, serving on multiple committees, including as a co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.
University of Wisconsin (2007-2013)
A former football student-athlete at the University of Alabama, Frazier has 24 years of overall experience as a director of athletics at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels, as an administrator at two Division I universities, as a coach and as a student-athlete. Prior to NIU, Frazier spent six years in senior leadership roles at the University of Wisconsin and was promoted to deputy director of athletics in 2011, Frazier's duties grew to include managing all day-to-day internal and external operations for Badger Athletics and serving as UW's "Chief of Staff" to Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez.
Frazier oversaw all fundraising and advancement activities at UW, including the annual fund, major gifts, suites and club seats, endowments, multimedia rights, ticket operations and alumni affairs. During his tenure at Wisconsin, he served as the administrator for three revenue-producing sports (football, men's basketball and men's ice hockey), providing direct support to the football program that won three consecutive Big Ten Conference Championships. Along with three Rose Bowl appearances. Frazier also served as Chair of the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Committee in 2011.
Frazier played a lead role in raising $123 million for multiple capital projects at UW, including a $31 million hockey/swim facility, an $86 million student-athlete performance center and a $3.5 million softball indoor practice facility.
Merrimack College, Clarkson University, Manhattanville College (1999-2007)
Prior to Wisconsin, Frazier served as Director of Athletics at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., was the Director of Athletics and Recreation at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. and led the athletics and recreation department at Division III Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. His accomplishments in eight years as an athletic director ranged from negotiating television agreements, establishing departmental policies and procedures, revamping logos and branding, overseeing facility enhancements, increasing revenue streams by creating fundraising groups, adding sports programs and cultivating successful sports programs.
Coach and Administrator
Frazier began his administrative career at the University of Maine as an assistant football coach in 1995 and was soon tabbed as the athletic department's multicultural affairs liaison, where he created programs aimed at fostering diversity. He was named assistant to the athletic director in 1996 and became an assistant athletic director in 1998. In that role, he provided administrative support to Maine's 1999 National Championship men's ice hockey team.
A Long Island, N.Y. native, he played four years of college football at the University of Alabama from 1987-91 and was a member of the 1989 SEC Championship team. He has written numerous papers, presented on topics of diversity, leadership and hiring at national meetings and served on many NCAA committees.
Frazier earned his bachelor's degree in communication from Alabama, has a master's degree in higher education/educational leadership from the University of Maine and is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin.
He and his wife, Rosa, an accomplished lawyer & law professor, have three children, daughters Marina and Marcella, and son Maximo.