Minnesota Vikings head coach and Columbus native Leslie Frazier took advantage of the NFL Lockout to take some time off and come back home for the Fourth of July weekend, during which time he visited his home church, St. James United Methodist, where the parishioners welcomed him with open arms… and lots of cameras. Frazier was kept almost an hour past the end of service to take pictures and talk with fans.
“I’m just happy to be back home and at my home church and fellowship with other believers,” said Frazier. “This is home, This is where my roots are and where my family is.”
Frazier, who graduated class of ’77 from S.D. Lee High school, got his start playing football at Lee High. From there, he was an All-American, All-Conference football player for Alcorn State University, he played for the Chicago Bears, then was head coach at Trinity College, and is currently head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
“I enjoyed my time at Lee, made a lot of great friends there. I drove by Lee this morning on my way to church. It brings back a lot of good memories.”
Frazier attributes some of his success to the support of his hometown.
“I’ve had so many people write me, call me or just tell me how much they support me. It’s just great to come home, bring my family with me and just show Columbus how much I appreciate all the support I’ve gotten from the city of Columbus over the years.”
The coach made the leap from playing to coaching after an injury sidelined him. “Now that was tough, when I got hurt,” said Frazier. “I wanted to keep playing, keep doing my thing, but God had different plans for my life. He took me into coaching, and for that I’m extremely grateful.”
He stressed that getting his education was what made it possible for him to move on after his injury. “If I didn’t have my degree, I would not have been able to branch out into coaching. I’m thankful I had a grandmother that stressed education and its importance. “I’m grateful, thankful and honored to be where I am today, I feel very blessed.”