THE BELLS — After being awarded ASC Coach of the Year eight times and receiving the title AFCA Regional Coach of the Year seven times, head football coach Pete Fredenburg received the award of Coach of the Year for Division III football from Liberty Mutual Insurance Jan. 6.
“Coach Fredenburg’s on-the-field success speaks for itself, but to have an award like this recognize the work he does in molding young men and serving the school and community is a great honor,” UMHB sports information director Jon Wallin said.
Along with a trophy, Liberty Mutual presents a grant in the amount of $20,000 to the university alumni association the coach is affiliated with and gives $50,000 to recipients for the purpose of donating the funds to a charity of the coach’s choosing.
“It was great to reach out to these charities and an awesome thing for Liberty Mutual to do,” Fredenburg said.
He donated $12,000 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Temple, Texas. The nonprofit serves as a haven where families with extremely ill children can find the simple comforts of home, such as a hot shower and a peaceful place to escape the constant noise of a hospital, during difficult times.
“The very generous donation will help us make some much-needed repairs around our 27-year-old house,” Executive Director Susan Bolton said. “The 11-year-old system is showing its age. There are many not-for-profit agencies in Bell County, all worthy of support, but there is a finite amount of money available to help all of them.”
The rest of the funds will be distributed to Belton’s Helping Hands ministry, the McLane Children’s Hospital and the Wounded Warrior Project.
“I have had involvement with all these organizations, and they all do awesome jobs for our communities,” Fredenburg said. “These are the charities I chose, and the checks have been sent from Liberty Mutual.”
Candidates who receive this award are honored for their demonstration of responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and excellence both on and off the field.
“Coach Fredenburg is very deserving of this honor, for his work off the field and in the community as much as for what the Cru has done on the field,” Wallin said. “He has always had our student-athletes involved on campus and in community service because he understands how important those things are in forming good people and good leaders.”
Fan voting decides the top 15 coaches from each NCAA division, and then an objective scoring model determines the top five finalists for Division III coaches.
“My time at Mary Hardin-Baylor has been incredible,” Fredenburg said. “My success has been because I surround myself with great, dedicated players and coaches that work extremely hard.”
Fredenburg has coached UMHB football for the entire 16 years of the program’s existence.
This past season marked the fourth year his team went undefeated in the regular season, and the ninth consecutive year the Cru maintained its title as ASC Champions.
“He is a great example of the philosophy of UMHB athletics,” Wallin said. “We want to win and be recognized on the national level, but the overall growth of the student-athlete is every bit as important.”