John Frazier is in his sixth season as a throws coach at the University of Tennessee and was promoted to associate head coach in 2011. He joined the Tennessee staff in August 2006 after serving six years as an assistant men's and women's track & field coach at the University of Arizona.
After working with J.J. Clark as the Lady Vol throws coach from 2006 to 2009, Frazier again added men's coaching duties to his list of responsibilities after Clark was named the director of track & field for both the women's and men's programs in June 2009. It is a challenge the veteran coach gladly embraced.
Frazier's reputation in his profession is a sterling one. In fact, it earned him the honor of coaching on the international stage for the United States. In August 2007, he traveled to Osaka, Japan, and worked with the U.S. women's throws contingent as it competed at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships.
Demonstrating how he earned that reputation and awards such as 2005 USTCA National and West Region Assistant Coach of the Year for Throws, Frazier produced impressive results in his first five seasons with the Tennessee program. Among the accolades his charges earned in his brief time at Rocky Top include All-American, NCAA Regional champion, SEC champion and school record-holder.
His top pupil has been Annie Alexander, who had a sensational freshman campaign in 2008, sweeping SEC Indoor and Outdoor shot put crowns and snapping 26-year-old school records indoors and out. She also added a league discus title and became the first SEC freshman female to win all three of those events in a single season.
After dealing with some injuries and a redshirt season, Alexander bounced back strong in 2011, sweeping SEC Outdoor shot put and discus crowns. She follow that up with matching third-place outcomes in the discus and shot at the NCAA Outdoor meet during a campaign in which she improved her outdoor PRs to 57-11 ¼ in the shot and 192-2 in the discus. That discus mark also bettered her previous Trinidad & Tobago national record, while the shot effort raised her school record.
During her career, Alexander has scored nine times in SEC meets, with three runner-up finishes to go with five victories, and she is a four-time All-American (third indoors and out in the shot put in 2009 and third outdoors in the shot and discus in 2011). She was second in the shot at SEC Indoors before redshirting outdoors in 2010 and indoors in 2011.
In addition to Alexander, Frazier also has several current Lady Vols who've contributed to the squad at the SEC level. Laquoya Kelly made the 2009 SEC Outdoor All-Freshman Team by placing sixth in the hammer throw outdoors, Jessie Harrison made the 2010 SEC Indoor All Freshman Team by taking sixth in the weight throw indoors, while Holly Kane was fifth in the javelin and Aslynn Halvorson was fifth in the discus at the 2010 SEC Outdoor meet. In 2011, Harrison grabbed sixth at SEC Indoors in the weight throw, while Halvorson was eighth in the shot.
On the men's side, Frazier produced a pair of SEC scorers and an NCAA qualifier in his first year working with the Vols in 2010. Senior Matt Maloney carded a fourth-place finish at SEC Outdoors and went on to compete in his fourth NCAA Outdoor meet in the javelin. Ben Bartholomew, meanwhile, came over from the football team and placed seventh indoors and sixth outdoors in the shot at the SEC meets.
Bartholomew and rookie Matt Darr, another two-sport athlete, finished just outside the points at the 2011 SEC Indoor meet despite limited training due to participation in both a bowl game and spring drills on the gridiron.
Other UT standouts during Frazier's time at Tennessee include two-time All-American Shanna Dickenson, the 2007 third-place NCAA discus finisher, a 10-time scorer at the SEC level and school record-holder in the hammer throw; Amara McKell, an SEC scorer in the shot and discus; and Nia Ali, who learned the shot under Frazier and went on to win the 2007 SEC heptathlon title in her first career attempt at the event.
Frazier joined the Big Orange from an Arizona program where he produced 11 All-Americans and two U.S. Junior champions. In his final year in Tucson in 2006, he had seven athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships. His pupils collectively accumulated five All-America certificates in the discus and shot put.
Before joining the Arizona staff, Frazier spent two seasons at the University of Florida, where he worked alongside J.J. Clark. During his tenure in Gainesville, Frazier helped Emily Carlsten earn a runner-up finish in the javelin at the 2000 NCAA Outdoor Championships and a third-place showing at the U.S. Olympic Trials that season. His athletes at UF also set school records in the javelin, hammer throw and 20-pound weight throw under his tutelage.
Frazier's coaching career dates back to 1988, when he joined the staff at UC Irvine. He also spent some of his formative professional years at Humboldt (Calif.) State, Cal State Northridge and Cal State Los Angeles before making the jump to the Pac-10 and SEC level.
During his 23 years in the track & field coaching community, Frazier's athletes have attained 38 All-America awards, including 13 at the NCAA Division II level. Additionally, he coached four NCAA Division II national champions and has tutored several athletes in the professional ranks.
Post-collegiates who have trained with Frazier include Dawn Dumble (59-2 in the shot and 201-6 in the discus); Shaun Pickering, a 1996 British Olympian who owns the No. 3 shot put mark in his country's history; Matt Pentecost, the 1995 U.S Junior National shot put champion, and Steve Albert, who finished seventh in the shot at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials, and Garland Porter, a former Vol who excels post-collegiately in the weight and hammer throws.
Also, Frazier worked from 2001-04 with Nigeria's Chima Ugwu, a two-time Olympic and three-time World Championships competitor, who holds the number-two all-time discus mark in his country at 64.53m (211-8); and Finland's Esko Mikkola from 2001-06, assisting with javelin workouts from Finnish National javelin coach Kari Ihalainen. Mikkola was a 2004 Olympic finalist and silver medalist at the 2003 World University Games who owns a PR of 84.27m (276-5).
As a collegiate performer from 1982-86, Frazier was a three-time All-American at UCLA in the shot put and also competed in the hammer throw. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from UCLA in 1986, and he has a master's in kinesiology from his time at Cal State Northridge.
A product of Lancaster, Calif., Frazier is married to the former Julia Barnes. They have two daughters, Lana (14) and Courtney (11), and one son, John Jr. (9).