Burrell hires new athletic director
Everything is happening fast for Aaron Frech.
The ink on his college diploma barely dry, Frech became the new athletic director at Burrell High School on Tuesday night, replacing Brian Ferra, who resigned after three years at the post.
Talk about a young Buc.
Frech, a Kiski Area and St. Vincent graduate, is just 22 years old. He's been a substitute teacher in the district, including a long-term sub at Bon Air Elementary School, and serves as the middle school boys soccer coach.
He starts the part-time position on July 1.
“The real world is coming out of nowhere for me,” Frech said.
Frech saw that the AD position was open but shied away at first because he didn't think he'd be considered, not to mention the obvious lack of experience.
“I figured you'd have to be in the district,” he said. “I figured I would apply; I have had a passion for sports all my life.
“I knew I wanted to work around sports, but I figured it would be as a volunteer or working in the concession stand first.”
Ferra, a middle school principal at Burrell for six years, stepped down as AD to spend more time with his family. He has three children: Maia, 12; Dominic, 10; and Niko, 9. All three are involved in sports.
Ferra, though, will train Frech and serve as his supervisor. Ferra, 40, also is on the hiring committee.
“Aaron is a hard worker and very dedicated,” Ferra said. “He'll give 100 percent. He had very good recommendations from other principals. I am looking forward to working with him.”
Ferra said there were “about a dozen” applicants from “all over the place,” not all from Burrell.
A former three-sport athlete (soccer, swimming and track), Frech has been working as a camp counselor at Allegheny Valley YMCA. He played one year of soccer at St. Vincent.
Frech said he plans to get acclimated with wrestling — by far Burrell's most successful sport. The wrestling team has won eight straight WPIAL titles.
“Every time you hear Burrell sports are in the news, it's usually wrestling-related,” he said. “I'm excited to learn about wrestling.”
That is a stark contrast to Ferra, who is a PIAA wrestling referee. Like Ferra, however, Frech plans to make his presence known.
“I want to be at every sporting event,” he said. “I want to get more kids to participate and be there for the kids and the teams.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.