Just a few weeks ago during homecoming, Head Men’s Soccer Coach Scott Fridley received an unexpected gift. Between the men’s and women’s soccer games, a sign for the newly named “Fridley Field” soccer field was revealed.
Fridley has been head soccer coach at AU since 1994. Before that, he played on the team during his time as a student and then served as assistant coach.
Before he was a student, his parents, grandfather, aunts, uncles and cousins attended AU.
The field was originally going to be named “Scott T. Fridley Field,” but it didn’t feel right to Fridley.
“This isn’t about me,” he said. “It’s about my family and my family’s legacy: my parents coming to school here and my grandfather and everybody else who is involved.”
As a high school senior on a visit to AU, Fridley spoke with a group of students trying to start a soccer club. When he arrived as a Raven in the fall, they put together an eight-game season, practicing on what was then the football field, and is now a soccer field dedicated to him.
Fridley has gone above and beyond as head coach to give athletes the best experiences and resources during their time at AU, including Europe trips and an updated soccer field.
“I always thought it was just about the game,” Fridley said. “[But] it’s about our Europe trips. It’s about preseason up at Yellow Creek. It’s about dinners at my house. It’s about all the stuff that we do away from the field.”
For the past few years, Fridley has been working diligently to create the best possible field for the soccer teams.
With stage one complete, stage two is now in process, working to get components like lights, more seating and a brick opening at the front of the stadium. The goal is to kick off the fall 2022 season with a lit game. When stage two is complete, the only task left will be to brick the buildings.
Alumni have been crucial in the ability to improve the stadium. Fridley remains connected to many alums and travels the country to meet with them.
“We’ve just been able to keep really good relationships and their experiences have been so fruitful to me,” Fridley said.
Fridley’s relentless dedication to AU and his team is evident in his goals for the students.
“I just want the best place for the kids,” said Fridley. “It’s only four years, right? Four years are gone so fast. We want them to have a successful four years in the classroom and on the field, making friends with the guys forever.”
Fridley expresses his gratitude toward God and AU by how much he puts into everything he does — from daily locker room discussions about doing the right thing, to revamping the entire soccer field to leave it better than he found it for future athletes and coaches.
“I’m really appreciative of the university saying, ‘Yeah, go do it,’’ stated Fridley. “I’m a dreamer and, you know, you have to find people who will come along the dream with you.”