Named after legendary Club coach, Willie Paul Frick, The Frick Award for Coaching Excellence has been instituted by the Club to honor the timeless qualities of skating excellence that Mr. Frick brought to the Club and all of his students as one of the Club’s earliest staff coaches. A native of Germany, Mr. Frick never medaled at the German Championships or competed in a major international competition. But as a young, professional coach teaching skaters across Europe during World War I, he earned the nickname “The Boy Wonder of Berlin” for both his youth and his prodigious talent as a coach. Mr. Frick coached at the Club for over 40 years. He also served as the coach of the 1932 Olympic Team in Lake Placid, the first Vice-President and second President of the Professional Skaters Association (PSA), and was awarded an honorary membership in the Club in 1946. In 1981, Mr. Frick was inducted posthumously into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
The skaters who trained under Mr. Frick were as legendary as the coach himself. They included Maribel Vinson Owen, Theresa Weld Blanchard, Tenley Albright, Joan Tozzer, Roger Turner, Sherwin Badger, Polly Blodgett, Suzanne Davis and Gretchen Merrill. The achievements of these skaters and the many other students of Mr. Frick were the foundation on which the Club’s reputation for excellence was first established. These skaters would go on to share Mr. Frick’s passion for excellence, many innovations and everyday good humor with students of their own, perpetuating and building upon his own legacy. In the words of Dr. Tenley Albright, “Mr. Frick was a good role model for everyone at the Club.”
The Frick Award for Coaching Excellence will be awarded to a Club coach who has been on staff for at least three years. The criteria by which coaches will be evaluated for consideration, include:
- Leadership within the Club community through positive interaction and camaraderie with members, coaches and officials.
- Continuous involvement, commitment and promotion of The Skating Club of Boston’s programs and events.
- A commitment to improving their ability as a coach and the ability of the Club’s athletes through continuous education through the PSA, U.S. Figure Skating or other acceptable accreditation.
- Good sportsmanship, kindness and loyalty to The Skating Club of Boston
The Frick Award for Coaching Excellence may or may not be given each year.