Reprinted with permission from Farmington High School website farmington.k12.mn.us
Farmington High School football coach Mark Froehling has been named the recipient of Minnesota’s 2012 Power of Influence Award by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA).
FHS assistant coach Pat Hudak nominated Froehling for the honor, and he was chosen from a strong field of candidates by a committee of coaches from around the state.
The Power of Influence Award is presented annually to one coach from each state whose influence is reflected in his mentoring and role modeling, community service and the lives he has touched and changed.
Previous Minnesota recipients of the prestigious award include such familiar names as Dave Nelson of Minnetonka; Dwight Lundeen of Becker; Jeff Ferguson of Totino-Grace, and Ron Stolski of Brainerd.
Long-time Farmington assistant coach Gary Burr has a unique perspective from which to view Froehling and his qualifications for the honor.
“I first met Mark when he was a 14 year-old freshman where I was coaching in Eden Valley,” Burr said. “Even then he wanted to be the right kind of leader. He was always respectful, polite and able to be his own person.
“After not seeing him for almost 20 years, we were back working together and everything I saw in that young man had multiplied into an amazing adult. He teaches young people how to grow into adulthood which in turn helps make our communities better places to live.”
Coaching peer Bubba Sullivan of Missota Conference rival Northfield was a member of the selection committee for this year’s award and said Froehling was an ideal candidate.
“I have always been impressed with Mark and his staff with how well they coach the game of football,” he said. “But I have been equally impressed with the way he coaches young men and the life lessons he teaches through his program.
“It is easy to tell by talking to Mark that he cares about the young men in his program as more than just football players and that he intentionally uses his power of influence to positively impact their lives.”
Former Tiger Trey Davis (2007) who went on to play football and compete in track and field at the University of Minnesota echoes Sullivan’s remarks.
“The singular characteristic that makes Coach Froehling stand out among all the coaches that I have is his heart for others,” Davis said. “There was never a doubt in my mind that he cared immensely for myself and my teammates which I believe translated to our success on the field.
“When I got to Minnesota and traded high school stories with my teammates, I quickly became aware that few coaches operate with as much care and respect for their players as Coach Froehling. Farmington is extremely blessed to have a man with such thoughtful perspective and philosophy as its head football coach.”
Not surprisingly, Froehling who owns an overall win-loss record of 118-87, including a 78-52 run at Farmington, accepted the honor in humble tones.
“I know many people in many programs work hard to make a positive difference in the lives of their athletes,” he said, “so I see myself as a representative of many.”
Included in that “many” were his coaching staff, athletic director Jon Summer and the hundreds of athletes they have mentored over the years.
“We are committed to athletics as education,” he said. “Athletics are considered classes after the regular school day where student athletes can learn about committment to others, dedication to a cause, success through hard work, sacrificing ones own interests for the benefit of the team, how to handle setbacks and failures, and much more.
“The ‘Power of Influence’ concept supports the ideal that athletics is much more than preparing for games. It is a chance for young men and women to experience real life issues and situations in a low risk, supportive environment.”
Froehling will now join other state Power of Influence Award winners as a candidate for the national award sponsored by the American Football Coaches Association. He will receive his state award later this spring.
Mark Froehling, Farmington High School football coach, EV-W alum, and 2012 Power of Influence Award recipient.
Coach Froehling addresses his team after a game. Submitted photos.