New coach Frye will keep bar set high for Franklin Regional girls volleyball

Monday, April 26, 2021 | 7:26 PM

A young coach with enthusiasm to match, Rachel Frye inherits a girls volleyball program at Franklin Regional with a championship past — a very recent past.

The Panthers won their first WPIAL title last fall and went on to place second in the PIAA in Class AAA.

Ninth-year coach Mike Feorene decided to go out on top and retired in January, leaving a blinking cursor for a new coach to start the next chapter.

That is where Frye comes in.

The former Kiski Area and Penn State Behrend standout will lead the Panthers with an encore awaiting. No pressure, coach.

“The bar is definitely raised high for the program, and I plan to keep it up there,” Frye said. “As their coach, I will motivate and encourage this team to be the absolute best that they can be. After such a successful season last year, I hope that the returning players can hold themselves to the standard that they set last season and be the leaders to all the other players on our team and in our program. I want to take over this program and not skip a beat from where they left off.”

Frye said the opening seemed appropriate as the next step in her coaching career. She has three years of experience coaching with the Westmoreland Elite program, where she used to play.

She also served as a varsity assistant and head junior varsity coach at Obama Academy in 2019.

Frye works for Allegheny Health Network as a project manager for the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

Her personal thumb print on the Panthers program probably will lie in her positivity. Frye played for the late and always inspirational Ellen Toy at Kiski Area. Coach Toy died in 2016 after a battle with stomach cancer.

“After years of being a player and now a coach, I feel like I have a great foundation of who I am as a coach,” Frye said. “I am very driven to make an impact on this program, and I believe in working hard on and off the court. I bring a lot of energy, passion and positivity to the table when it comes to my personality, and I love to take those elements and infuse them into my players as well. I had such an incredible high school volleyball career because of my teammates and coaches that were by my side, and I have every intention to give the same experience to these girls.”

Frye already feels a connection to Franklin Regional as she inches closer to her first season in the fall.

“I am not a complete stranger to Franklin,” she said. “(At Kiski Area) we always played Franklin in volleyball, and my cousins went to school at Franklin. I knew that Franklin was a successful program and that the players were hard-working athletes with a lot of talent. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and the timing of this opportunity was perfect. I am beyond grateful to be the head coach and am excited to jump into the season.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .

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