Joe Frager began his coaching career as an assistant baseball coach at Shelton [CT] High School. He eventually landed the girls’ basketball coaching position at Seymour High School where he taught history. Frager’s love for the game, drive to get better, intensity, and ability to develop talent enabled him to turn around a program that had won only three games the year before his arrival in 1987.
From 1987-1998, Joe developed a dynasty at Seymour. During his eleven years at the helm, Seymour compiled a 208-58 record. The Wildcats were Class M State Champions in 1993; Class L Champions in 1997; and were ranked the #1 team in New England and Connecticut as they won the 1998 Class M Championship and 52 straight games.
Eventually Frager realized that his passion for coaching and basketball was affecting his teaching. He applied for the vacant women’s basketball position at Southern CT State University and was named Head Coach in 1998.
Joe brought his trademark intensity and love for the game to SCSU. He created a family atmosphere within his teams. ..saying that his players are an extension of his family. His teams have benefited from that philosophy.
Joe’s drive, intensity, passion, and team/family concept produced a National Championship at Southern CT. Frager compiled an overall record of 189-83 during his nine years at SCSU. His teams qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2003, 2005, 2006, and 2007. They won the Northeast-10 Conference Championship from 2005-07. Frager’s little-known SCSU Owls completed the 2007 season with a 34-2 record and by winning the NCAA Division II National Championship in Kearny, Nebraska.
His SCSU players spoke glowingly about the pregame and halftime speeches Joe made. Sometimes he was calm, sometimes he was pointed, and sometimes he was loud, but he always had their attention. An opposing coach paid Joe a huge compliment when she said, “He’s a good man…that what I like most about Joe….He teaches his kids how to play hard, he coaches them hard, and they play the game right.” He believes that in order to be successful, all five players on the court must be working as one and that basketball is the ultimate team game.
Frager’s long-time assistant, Laura Scinto, believes that much of Joe’s success stems from that fact that he is always prepared for a game. “He’ll watch tape of the next opponent for 5-6 hours after a game. He’s always looking ahead at possible scenarios….planning counter moves to whatever an opponent might do.”
On an individual note, Frager was named New England Collegiate Conference Co-Coach of the Year in 1999. He was selected as the WBCA Region I Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and received Northeast-10 Coach of the Year accolades for three straight years, 2007-2005. In 2007, Joe was honored as the Molten National Coach of the Year.
Frager left Southern in the Spring of 2007 to take the helm of the Fairfield University Lady Stags. He will most certainly bring his keys to success to that program.