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Ex-Pirates coach chills out

Craig Frederick doesn't mind the fact he is not getting players ready for the upcoming season.

Published July 28, 2006

A twangy voice crackles on the cell phone from a motorboat floating somewhere in the Florida Keys.

With his wife, 3-year-old daughter and some friends, Craig Frederick is vacationing. And just as soon as they gas up, the gang will go scouting for lobsters.

It's a long way from a musty weight room in Citrus County.

There will be no football for the former Crystal River coach this fall, and he swears he does not care.

Not one bit.

"I guess now I can sit back and be an armchair quarterback like everyone else," Frederick said with a hearty laugh.

Even from the sea, Frederick wants to know how they're coping without him.

"How's the football team look?" he asks in his slow, methodical voice. "Slow? Small?"

Told his former players are bulking up by lifting weights most weekdays with new coach Anthony Paradiso, Frederick said he still prefers lounging in the Keys to coaching football.

"I don't miss summer workouts," said Frederick, who went 4-16 in two seasons.

"I don't miss one of them."

Still, he said he remains skeptical the new coach can turn things around.

"If somebody thinks they can do a better job, more power to them," Frederick said. "It remains to be seen."

Former Crystal River assistant Norris Lightsey, lounging on the same boat, said he has noticed the new Frederick.

"He's relaxed," said Lightsey, now an assistant coach at Flagler Palm Coast.

"He's having a great time. It's good for him to be around family."

Frederick said he spent some time this summer constructing a parts depot for his brother-in-law, who owns a dealership in Crystal River.

Otherwise, he hasn't been doing much. And he likes it that way.

He'll return Saturday from his week in the Keys, but he's in no rush for school to start.

"Heck no," he said. "It can last another month before I'm ready. I'm having fun."

At least this year, he'll have plenty of free time in the fall, too.

Brian Sumers can be reached at 352 564-3628 or

[Last modified July 27, 2006, 23:19:27]

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