January 2, 2023

Freddie Newman-Blout '07 named IAAM Athletic Director of the Year

Law school was not her thing. Nor was teaching. After dipping her toe in the legal and academic worlds, it didn’t take Freddie Newman-Blout '07 very long to figure out that a career in athletics administration was her calling.

Having participated mainly in two sports — basketball and lacrosse — in high school (Bishop Ireton of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) and college (Goucher), she always had a yen for athletics.

Still, Newman’s initial post-collegiate endeavor was to attend the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

It was during that time, while assisting the basketball and lacrosse coaches at Bryn Mawr School, when her career arc started to veer back toward athletics.

Newman said that she considered her coaching gigs with the Mawrtians to be a good “stress reliever” from the rigors of law school, ultimately convincing her to apply for a teaching/coaching position at St. Vincent Pallotti.

Longtime former Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association executive director Rick Diggs had just taken over the AD job at the Laurel school when Newman arrived in 2013, a period that stoked Newman’s interest in transitioning from Diggs’ assistant to running her own athletic department.

That chance came a couple of years later when she landed the AD slot at the Institute of Notre Dame before it closed in June of 2020.

Newman did not stay unemployed very long — three days, to be exact — before Concordia Prep coaxed her to run the girls’ athletic program while Josh Ward ran the boys’ side.

However, when Ward returned to his alma mater to take over the football program at Calvert Hall, she was tabbed to be the sole AD at Concordia Prep.

To say it was a challenging time is an understatement, considering that Newman was pregnant with her first child and high school sports were in disarray because of the COVID-19 in the fall of 2020.

She not only emerged from that tumultuous period, she thrived in the role while also catching the eye of her colleagues.

“It was a trial by fire,” Newman said. “I was the new person coming in and I was also helping to bring about a culture change” at a school that had changed its name from Baltimore Lutheran only six years earlier after a significant enrollment dip.

The student body has almost doubled since the move, she said, prompting a mission to establish new traditions and ideas from an athletics' perspective.

“We have really focused with our coaches on establishing a new culture,” she said. “We’re pushing negative energy away. I give our kids a lot of credit. They have bought into what we are trying to do. They’re happy to be Saints.”

After just two years at Concordia Prep, her peers voted recently to name Newman the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association IAAM Athletic Director of the Year for District 10 — an honor she reveres.

“What makes it so awesome is that so many people I look up to nominated me,” she said.

Newman, it seems, has truly found her niche.

“We’re a small school, so we don’t have the resources that some of the bigger schools have,” she said about running a program with 35 middle school and high school teams. “But we try to make it work every day.”

Concordia Prep varsity football coach and assistant AD Joe Battaglia said that Newman engenders respect and loyalty from her coaches.

“Freddie works countless hours and is always accessible,” he said. “She’ll stick her neck out to get everything you need. She’ll go to war for her coaches. We’re thankful that she’s here at Concordia Prep.”

IAAM Executive Director Sue Thompson said that Newman “is very involved and invested in our league and Concordia Prep, and her colleagues consistently witness that. From the league’s perspective, Freddie will always take a phone call (who does that anymore?) and has worked hard to wrap her arms around our outdoor track program, to improve its operation and offer consistent communication to the two dozen schools participating in outdoor track.  Laying down a logical strategy for meets and championships has been huge for us.”

Newman will be recognized in late April 2023 when the MSADA Conference gets underway. 


Original Story: