A familiar football face has joined the Ashland University coaching staff.
Former National Football League quarterback Charlie Frye has been added to the Eagle football staff as a volunteer wide receivers coach.
Frye, a native of nearby Willard, Ohio, said he's excited to be back home.
"To be around coaches that I played for, that I have respect for, I'm just grateful for the opportunity," he said. "There's a level of knowing each other, respect, and just knowing that what you're saying isn't going to be taken out of context. There's a trust there that we're all trying to gear everything toward a common goal, and that's to win."
"I'm excited about just having him period," said Ashland head coach Lee Owens. "He's one of those guys that we had an opportunity to coach, and have a great relationship with. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our staff. There's a loyalty and an understanding of how we do things."
Frye played 26 games (23 starts) in the NFL from 2005-09 with the Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders. In 2006, he completed 64.1 percent of his passes for the Browns, which stands as the second-highest single-season mark in franchise history among passers with at least 224 attempts (Otto Graham, 1954, 64.7 percent).
A third-round pick of the Browns in 2005, Frye joins a staff with which he is very familiar from his playing days at the University of Akron. Owens, associate head coach/offensive line coach/run game coordinator Doug Geiser and quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator/junior varsity coach Tom Stacy all were with the Zips when Frye was setting program records for career pass completions (913), passing yards (11,049), touchdown passes (64) and completion percentage (63.6).
"He was as proficient in our offense as any quarterback's ever been," Owens said.
Since his NFL playing days, Frye has been a high school offensive coordinator in Florida, a quarterbacks coach at Nike Elite 11, and Director of Player Development and Mental Conditioning at the University of Florida.
As Ashland's wide receivers coach, Frye guides a group which includes sophomore Logan Bolin (team-high 43 catches, 505 yards, six touchdowns in 2017), seniors Kamaron Green (35 catches, 456 yards, six touchdowns) and Jamie Hence (25 catches, 330 yards, two touchdowns), and junior Stanley Jackson Jr. (24 catches, 409 yards, one touchdown).
"A lot of times, the quarterbacks and receivers meet together. They have to be on the same page," said Owens. "I'm sure Charlie was coaching his receivers at Akron. I'm sure he was coaching his receivers in the NFL. He knows what he wants them to do."
Said Frye of the Eagle wideouts, "They're a lot of fun. They've got skills, and they compete hard."