Fried’s late arrival wasn’t due to an injury, however. Instead, he had to wait until the hockey season came to a close, with a first round loss in the NCAA Tournament.
Yes, Rob Fried is the Bo Jackson, the Brian Jordan, the Deion Sanders of Harvard sports. He is a two-sport star.
While playing two varsity sports might seem an impossible feat to achieve at an academic institution such as Harvard, Fried uses athletics to focus his priorities and make the most of his time at college.
Having attended Deerfield Academy, a prep school in Western Mass, Fried is no stranger to the balancing act facing a multi-sport athlete and talented scholar.
At Deerfield, as in college, Fried shined brightest on the ice. As a senior, Fried captained a team that featured fellow Crimson teammate, junior Tyler Kolarik. Fried was named to the first team All-League and received the honor of Sports Illustrated/Old Spice Athlete of the Month in Nov. 1999.
Perhaps most impressive, however, is the fact that Fried was selected in the third round of the 2000 NHL Draft (77th overall) by the Florida Panthers.
Fried did not save stardom solely for hockey. The captain and starting goalkeeper of the varsity soccer squad, he received the team MVP award and garnered All-State, All-League, and All-New England honors.
Fried was also the assistant captain of the lacrosse team and the starting longpole midfielder.
The Macon of the Man
Fried hails from Macon, Georgia, but he fostered his love for hockey and lacrosse growing up in Pennsylvania and spending his boarding school days in the Northeast.
Lacrosse and hockey might not be the first sports that come to mind when you think of the South, but Fried’s family has a history of pursuing an eclectic mix of athletics. His father, Jeffrey Fried, was a three-time All-Ivy High Jumper and former school record holder at University of Pennsylvania. He also owned the now-defunct Macon Whoppee, a minor-league hockey team. His sister Susie is an aspiring Olympian in equestrian, and his uncle Neil was a professional body builder.
“I originally came to Harvard as an ice hockey recruit, so that was always my first allegiance,” Fried says.
Fried’s dedication has paid off for the Crimson. En route to the hockey team’s berth in the NCAA Tournament this year, Fried posted three goals, 10 assists and 26 penalty minutes for Harvard in 33 solid games.
Harvard hockey coach Mark Mazzoleni notes Fried’s consistency as a huge asset to the team.
“You know every day what you’re going to get from Robbie,” Mazzoleni says. “He has no valleys in his game.”