Michael Fried: Mid-life Crisis turns into World Class Coaching
What started as a volunteer job, blossomed into one of the top tennis programs in the Division 3 era. Michael Fried started out as a stock broker on Wall Street where he made a good living, had a stable job and was clearly happy. When I asked him why he joined Wesleyan as a coach, he looked down, smiled and said, "mid-life crisis?" I knew he was joking but not entirely...
Coach Fried was a Division 1 tennis player at Brown University where he not only achieved greatness on the court, but in the classroom as well. He attributes much of his success as a player and as a human being to what he has learned at Brown. For example, he believes in education first, and tennis second. He is proud of Wesleyan's great academic reputation, and recruits players who can and want to take advantage of all that Wesleyan has to offer, while oh by the way, having the desire to compete for a national title at the Division 3 level.
Even though he is clear about the differences between the recruits that Division 1 and Division 3 schools can attract, it doesn't stop him from challenging his players to play Division 1 schools. It might surprise some, but not those who know Coach Fried, that many times his players walk away with victories from their Division 1 opponents.
It is hard not to admire what Coach Fried has done at Wesleyan University. Just walking into his office on the bottom floor of their athletics center, it is impressive to see the amount of NCAA Champion trophies on display. He showed me around the athletics facility and showed me photos of the tennis team from the 1950's. It is crazy to think schools kept that many team photos.
If you want to find out more about what we discussed and what his plans are for the program, check out the full interview down below!