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Archive for Friday, April 27, 2001

Family tickled by decision to step down

Kansas AD’s wife, Margey: ‘Bob, it’s time for us to make a change’

April 27, 2001

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Margey Frederick reached up, hugged her husband and said: "I love you. You are my hero."

Minutes earlier, Bob Frederick had announced he would step down on June 30 after 14 years as Kansas University's athletics director.

Margey Frederick watches her husband's resignation announcement.
Bob Frederick stepped down Thursday at Hadl Auditorium.

Margey Frederick watches her husband's resignation announcement. Bob Frederick stepped down Thursday at Hadl Auditorium.

Frederick had talked about how much he was looking forward to having free weekends, about how he was anticipating reading the Sunday paper from the porch of the new Frederick homestead currently under construction in western Douglas County.

Along those lines, Margey Frederick tongue-in-cheeked that it was all her fault her husband had decided to leave the athletics director job for a professorship in the KU School of Education.

"I have watched entirely too much HGTV," she said, referring to the cable network dedicated to homes, gardens, etc. "The show is called 'The Good Life' and it shows people doing wonderful things in Montana and New Mexico, and people throwing fishing lines into the ocean.

"After watching that show, I said, 'Bob, it's time for us to make a change.'"

Bob Frederick and Margey Wallett met on Mount Oread about 30 years ago when he was an assistant basketball coach, and she was working on a masters degree in education.

"We've been married 29 years and we never had any weekends and I told him I'm worn out," Margey Frederick said. "I'm tired of this."

Oldest son Brian, who flew in from North Carolina where he is working on a masters degree in journalism, was beaming about his father's decision.

"I'm just so happy my folks will be able to spend more time together," Brian said. "You know there have been a lot of weekends when they haven't been together because she's afraid to fly."

Indeed, Margey Frederick accompanied her husband on his many trips over the last 14 years only if the journey was within driving distance.

When Brad, the second oldest of their four sons, graduated from North Carolina two years ago, Bob and Margey drove all the way to Chapel Hill and back.

Today, Brad is an assistant basketball coach at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He, too, flew in for Thursday's announcement.

"I'm really proud of everything he's done here," Brad said about his dad. "I'm glad he'll have more time to spend with mom."

Margey Frederick, incidentally, has no plans to retire. She has been director of the KU Visitors Center since it opened three years ago near the intersection of 15th and Iowa streets.

"I'm just getting started at the Visitors Center," she said. "We had 25,000 visitors the first year and 32,000 last year, and we're just going to grow and grow."

The Fredericks' other sons, Mark and Chris, are enrolled at Lawrence High. Mark is a senior; Chris a sophomore.

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