With the Cru football offseason in full swing, a familiar face has returned to Anderson Field. UMHB alumnus Cody Fredenburg was named an offensive assistant in January. He is the son of Cru football Head Coach Pete Fredenburg.
While Cody attended UMHB, he was the starting quarterback for four years and set passing records. He also helped the Cru win two ASC titles, and they appeared in two NCAA postseasons while he was on the team. Cody was a four-time ASC All-Conference selection and a three-time Academic All-ASC pick.
Since graduating in 2004, Cody has earned a master’s from Southern Mississippi University and coached at Oklahoma State University as a graduate assistant, Southern Mississippi University as a tight ends and receivers coach and Stephen F. Austin as the running backs coach.
All the experiences have helped prepare him for his current coaching position with the Cru and he already knows what he will focus on.
“The number one thing on the field will be the passing game. Just being around some of the offenses that I’ve been associated with, we’ve had a lot of exposure to passing and different concepts and things to move the football through the air,” Cody said. “And then there are certain things as far as the no huddle and up-tempo type of offensive we are looking to run.”
One of the many people excited to see him return was his father.
“I’ve just had him for a short while, but it’s really been amazing. When we had our recruiting weekend and to see him coach and work and recruit, so it’s really just pretty cool. I’m thrilled that he’s here,” Pete said.
This is not the first time Cody has coached with his father. In 2004, he was a student assistant coach at UMHB, which was the start of his coaching career.
“For Cody, it’s such an interesting journey because he was here near the very beginning of our team and stayed on and worked as a student assistant,” Vice-President for Athletics Ben Shipp said. “He has seen both sides here, but now he’s done so many neat things out in the football world that his experiences really … are going to be able to help us in ways that are going to be exciting.”
Being an alumnus of the university allows Cody to connect with the team in a different way since he has been in their shoes before.
“I understand what these players are going through because I’ve been there,” he said. “I think that the other places I have been have given me the opportunity to gain more knowledge and to understand myself as a coach and what my strengths and weaknesses are.”
Cody has also been able to see the many changes that have been happening on the campus, including the groundbreaking ceremony Feb. 3 for the new football stadium and student union building.
“I think it’s a great thing because you have more of an invested interest. You walk around campus, and you see everything being built and how everything has progressed, and you have a sense of pride about all of that,” he said.
Having been a part of different offensives since leaving the Cru, Cody has many assets that he will be bringing to the football program.
“He has been exposed to some really outstanding offensives and coaches. Interjecting his ideas into what we already do offensively I think will be a tremendous plus for us,” Pete said.
His years spent on the field will also help the team.
“He was a great competitor as a player, and that transcends into being a football coach. I just think that his ability to relate and to teach is going to be a great asset to our football program,” Pete said.
One of the things Cody is looking forward to the most is being able to coach with his dad and see a different side of football with the Cru.
“It means a great deal. It’s something that is very special. When I did play here, it was underneath him. It was something that I really cherish and thought it was a great deal,” he said. “But now coaching and seeing him from the different side of football and seeing him as the boss and leader of the program, it’s a unique thing that I think that everyone who is coaching doesn’t get that opportunity, but I’m glad we do.”
Another aspect of Cody being an assistant coach is recruiting. Shipp knows that the time Cody spent at UMHB will be beneficial in this area.
“He understands Mary Hardin-Baylor. That’s critical because the other side of coaching is recruiting. It’s really important that he has experienced life here as a ballplayer and student, and that will really help him,” he said. “His Division I experience will help us with some techniques and some things that are going on in Division I that could possibly help us.”
Having both Fredenburgs at UMHB is a valuable addition to the university for football players and faculty.
“I think it’s very special. It’s closing a loop that started when Coach Fredenburg came here and then when Cody came and played for us,” Shipp said. “And now we see it. We are closing a loop. It’s not the end of anything, but I think it’s the beginning of a new chapter.”