Imagine you’re a potential high school recruit with no scholarships or access to quality facilities.
The only thing you have been offered by the coaches is a promise for the chance to play, win conference titles and maybe a national championship. Not entirely what a recruit wants to hear from a football program.
Pete Fredenburg is the UMHB head football coach. When the program first got started back in 1998, it faced challenges like signing recruits to come play without any scholarships nor the best athletic facilities. Still, Fredenburg has managed to put together a winning team that competes year in and year out for championships.
“It begins with a central location to be able to go into areas like Austin, Waco, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston to get high quality recruits, but also a great message of us doing things the right way and allowing them to be the best they can be by teaching them the basic fundamentals, is how we come up with these good young players,” Fredenburg said
Fredenburg and his coaches approached recruits with the simple vision: Promising men the chance to win, and making them the best they can be on the field, in the classroom and in life, as great fathers and husbands. The coaches recruit athletes who are team players, academics and men of good ethics.
The problem the school encounters with recruiting is how it is pitted against Division I and II colleges that have scholarships and top-notch athletic facilities. Cru recruiters sell Division III ball by allowing kids to get valuable playing time and experience combined with being a part of a winning tradition
“I am pleasantly surprised by our successes, but that was our goal from the start — to produce a winning atmosphere and recruit the right player to fit the program,” Fredenburg said.
The football program has been fortunate to keep its coaching staff intact and has a university that supports it in helping to recruit the quality of kids for the program.
“I am proud of this school and these recruits for buying into the vision we had of being the best program which provides a winner on the field, a great student-athlete in the classroom and making these kids become great men in life,” Fredenburg said.
Jalen Lawson, a member of the football team, chose to come to the school as a recruit because of the winning tradition and the newly upgraded facilities.
Lawson also liked the family atmosphere portrayed by the program among the players and the coaching staff. He also likes the friendships built by honesty, as well as the integrity of the coaches.
“Coach Fredenburg is a father figure to the team and those he recruits. When Coach speaks of all the credentials the program has instilled, it makes recruits want to come and be a part of the program,” Lawson said.
Oliver Stone is a member of the football team and has been a part of this program since 2010.
Stone said, “Coach Fredenburg indicated to me this was the best place for me. It was close to home and would give me a chance to play while gaining valuable experience.”