Gary Frederick speaks to his Cle Elum-Roslyn High School girls basketball team during a game this season.

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Gary Frederick just can’t seem to get away from coaching since his official retirement in 2010.

After the Cle Elum-Rosyln High School girls basketball team was desperate for a head coach this season, many parents reached out to Frederick who wasn’t particularly seeking the job.

Sure enough, he took it when the school couldn’t find an applicant and isn’t sure how long he will keep going after this season concludes.

“I live day-to-day,” said Frederick with a chuckle. “Being 81 years old, you just never know what’s going to happen. My wife thinks I need to get off the couch, and she’s right because it keeps you going.”


Frederick is a Central Washington University icon, starting out as a student in the mid to late 1950s. Since 1967, he has been a coach for multiple sports and the athletic director. His last gig with CWU was as the softball head coach, stepping down after the 2010 season, guiding the women to one of the more successful years in the program.

They amassed a 40-win season along with a Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship — the university’s first in softball. He parted ways because the program was in a good place and hopeful it would keep the momentum going.

But one of the main reasons was because Mallory Holtman, a graduate assistant and former player, was looking to get move up in her career. Holtman was famously known for being one of the two women to lift up the Western Oregon University player who torn her ACL when rounding the bases after a homerun. It ended up winning “Best Moment” at the 2008 ESPY Awards.

“She wanted to be a head coach,” Frederick said. “There was no insurance that she was going to get the job and I told her ‘if I stepped out of this, you would have to apply.’

“I retired, but I told her ‘if you get the job, I want to assist. I don’t want to quit, I still want to be part of it.’”

Holtman ended up getting the coaching job and Frederick’s wish was granted, serving as the assistant until 2014.

After graduating from Central, Frederick had an eight-year hiatus from the school, as he was teaching and coaching at three different high schools in Washington state. But CWU reached out and asked him to interview for the open assistant football and head baseball coaching jobs in 1967.

Frederick was the assistant football coach for 17 years and baseball for 11. In 1980, he took over as the AD and two years later, after what was supposed to be one-year stint, Frederick took over as the head women’s basketball coach because the previous coach resigned after an 0-26 season. He was still the AD during that time.

“I said I would take it for a year until we work things out … and I end up keeping it for 11 years,” he said.

Frederick was the AD for 18 years.

He is a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame (1997) and a three-time inductee into Central’s Hall of Fame (1999). Two of his teams were also inducted — the 1968 baseball team and 1987-88 women’s basketball squad. CWU renamed the softball stadium in 2009 in honor of him and his late wife, Bobbi, who passed a year prior.

Two CWU baseball players were under Fredericks’ guidance and went on to the big leagues. Bill North was an outfielder who played in the majors for 11 seasons and won a World Series with the Oakland Athletics in 1974. Right-hander Dave Heaverlo, played for the Giants, Mariners and Athletics in the late 1970s and early 1980s.


But Frederick keeps staying busy.

Since officially leaving as an assistant for the Wildcats softball team in 2014, Frederick also helps assist the softball team over at Cle Elum-Roslyn.

But after Nikki Dearing resigned from the girls basketball team at Cle Elum-Roslyn, the parents were having difficulty finding a replacement.

Monica Terrill, the mother of Grace Terrill, the Warriors leading scorer, was potentially in line to take the position. She was a coach during a bulk of the Warrior girl’s elementary days as well as the middle school team at Cle Elum-Roslyn that she still coaches.

But Monica decided she wasn’t up for it. And neither were the others they reached out to. The job was open for months and didn’t receive any applicants.

So, Frederick said if they couldn’t find someone viable, he would do it.

“You get excited if you at least find someone who has good basketball knowledge,” Monica Terrill said. “It was kind of a new look on the kids in the program — a new set of eyes.”

He’s got the girls off to a good start — 6-2 so far in the campaign. Junior Grace Terrill is averaging 19.9 points per game and behind her is fellow junior Hallee Hink, averaging 9.6 points per contest.

It’s been a while since he’s coached basketball, the late 1980s in fact. He sees similarities with one of his CWU squads.

“We’re trying to press, it’s taking some time to do that. We’re small,” Frederick said. “The team that was successful at Central was small, we only had one player 5-foot-10 … so we pressed. We’re small here and got pretty good speed, so we’re obviously trying to do that.”


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