Sept. 13, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - When a spot on a staff comes open, the person in charge usually looks for someone with a passion and knowledge for their respective sport and someone who has competed at the highest level in their respective discipline. Eric Peterson, the head track and field coach at Tulane University, has found just that person and has announced the hiring of Doug Fraley as the programs jumps assistant.
"I am very excited to add Doug to our staff," said Peterson. "The opportunity to bring someone on board with his experience, knowledge and enthusiasm will bring great value to our program. I am confident that the level of instruction that our jumpers and multi-event athletes will receive moving forward will be world class."
A three-time NCAA National Champion in the pole vault, Fraley has coached kids at the high school and college level since taking his first coaching job as a graduate assistant for his father at Fresno State University. He spent one season on the Bulldogs coaching staff before heading to the Crescent City to open the Spine Care Center of Metairie in 1995.
"I am thrilled at the opportunity to join coach Peterson's staff at Tulane," said Fraley. "To be able to work with the sport that I love at a world class university, right here in New Orleans, is a dream come true for me. I will be working with a very talented group of athletes that I believe can be very competitive at both the conference and national levels. I am very proud to be a part of coach Peterson's commitment to building a championship caliber track and field program here at Tulane."
Over the past 15 years, Fraley has been a staple on the New Orleans track and field scene, coaching with various high school and club organizations, along with officiating in the area. His pupils have gone on to win 15 LHSAA State Championships in the pole vault, and claim multiple long jump, triple jump and high jump titles. Fraley has seen four of his understudies win USATF or AAU National titles and many others have enjoyed success on a national level.
He served in some capacity at the high school ranks for 11 years and worked with student-athletes from many of the area's top programs. While coaching at the high school level, Fraley helped tutor 14 student-athletes that earned the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level. They have studied on both the east and west coasts and include schools like Tulane, Chicago, LSU, Georgia, Yale, Stanford, Southeastern Louisiana, North Carolina and Harvard.
This won't be Fraley's first stint at Tulane, either, as he spent one season with the Green Wave as a volunteer pole vault coach under former head coach Ron Basile in 1996-97. During that season, he coached Robbie Manard, the 1997 Conference USA Championship pole vault champion, and helped him set the school record in the event with a height of 16'8 ¾".
Fraley has been fortunate enough to work with some of the world's top coaches and biomechanics from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Scotland, Sweden, Russia and the United States. He has studied the areas of technique, speed, strength and kinesthetic development and even contributed as the co-author of the pole vault chapter in the "Complete Book of Jumps", which was written by Ed Jacoby and, his father, Bob Fraley.
He continues to contribute to the growth of track and field by serving as a member of the United States Track and Field Pole Vault Development coaching staff, a post he has held since 1995, and acting as the Director of Coaching for the Mardi Gras Track Club in New Orleans. He has been a keynote speaker and is an annual lecturer at the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev. and has acted as the Master of Ceremonies at the National Pole Vault Summit and the North American Pole Vault Championships, both events which he helped organize.
His athletic resume boasts three individual national championships, a personal best clearance of 19'1/4" and numerous national and international experiences. While an undergraduate at Fresno State, Fraley won the 1986 NCAA Indoor Pole Vault Championship and followed that performance up by grabbing the crown in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault in 1987. He was selected to Fresno State University athletic Hall of Fame in 1993 and entered the Fresno County Hall of Fame in 2004.
After college, Fraley continued to compete on a regular basis as a part of the International Association of Athletics Federations Grand Prix circuit and qualified for six USA National Teams. He qualified for multiple World Grand Prix Finals and finished fourth overall at the event in 1987. His personal record was collected in 1992 when he cleared 19-feet and one-quarter inch at a competition in Sestriere, Italy.