Thursday, December 20, 2007
Carol City's Greatest Chief Retires
For 26 years, Walt Frazier was an iconic figure at Miami Carol City High School. A strict taskmaster and known for wearing his trademark train engineer's hat on the sidelines, few high school coaches won more games, championships or sent more kids to college than Frazier. Frazier announced his retirement yesterday ending an amazing coaching career that ranks among the best ever in state history.
His Carol City Chiefs won three Class 6A state championships in 1996, 1997 and 2003 and were state runners-up in 1989. The 1997 team went 15-0, his only undefeated season and finished #5 in the nation by USA Today. From 1996 to 1997, the Chiefs won a then Dade County record 29 consecutive games. The record was recently broken by Northwestern High. His career record of 212-111 ranks third all time in Miami-Dade County history behind Coral Gables legend Nick Kotys (258) and Jim Kroll (213) who coached at Southwest, Miami Beach and Palmetto. Two weeks ago, the FHSAA named Frazier as one of the 12 greatest coaches in state history. He was one of 3 Dade County coaches named to the prestigious list along with Kotys and Nathaniel "Traz" Powell, who coached at Carver and Mays high schools during segregation from 1948 to 1968. St. Thomas Aquinas coach George Smith was the only Broward coach named to the list.
Before he arrived at Carol City in 1983, Frazier coached at Northwestern High School from 1975 to 1977 and was an offensive line coach at Hialeah-Miami Lakes. He started wearing his trademark hat as a tribute to his father who worked as a railroad worker and instilled in him the values of discipline and hard work. Contrary to popular belief, Frazier doesn't own just one hat. Over the year's he's worn many and has collected hats from friends and admirers.
While there is no official statistic, it's hard to imagine any coach in Dade County history ever sent more of his players to college than Frazier. His former players range from current NFL players like brothers Santana Moss and Sinorice Moss to rapper Rick Ross, whose real name is William Roberts and played offensive line for the Chiefs in the early 1990s. Frazier's teams were a reflection of his personality. They were simple, yet extremely tough. The Chiefs relied on a power running game and dominant defense.
It's easy to recognize a great coach for his won-loss record. But the true measure of Frazier's success was the impact he made on his player's lives and turning boys into men. I've never met or knew Walt Frazier personally. But I have met a couple of people who have played for him and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more respected and beloved individual. For those who love high school football everywhere, the game will never be quite the same without him.
Notable Carol City athletes who played for Frazier:
Rudy Barber - former offensive lineman at UM
Delvin Brown - former safety at UM
Teako Brown - former safety at UF
Ricky Jean Francois - defensive lineman at LSU
Donald Heaven - former offensive lineman at FSU
Aubrey Hill - former receiver at UF
Bradley Jennings - former linebacker at FSU
Willie Jones - former defensive end at FSU
Santana Moss - wide receiver at UM and the NFL
Sinorice Moss - wide receiver at UM and the NFL
Godfrey Myles - former linebacker at UF and the NFL
Tim Paulk - former linebacker at UF
Kenny Phillips - safety at UM
Williams Roberts - former All-Dade lineman, later became rapper Rick Ross
Stanford Samuels - former DB at FSU
Ethenic Sands - Great high school QB who became a receiver at UM
Kevin Simons - former offensive lineman at Tennessee and the NFL
Del Speer - former DB at UF and the NFL
Willie Williams - great high school linebacker who had stints at UM and Louisville