Froemming pays it forward as ‘mentor’ during final season

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Cole Froemming (22) defends against Villanova in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

When Marquette men’s lacrosse senior defender Cole Froemming was being recruited, the “student” part of being a student-athlete was just as important as playing the sport he loves.

“I wanted to be as close to home as possible at a good school with a strong academic rigor,” Froemming said. “At the time, I saw what Coach Amplo was was doing with the program and thought he was building something special, and I wanted to be a part of it.”

Despite seeing limited playing time during his time at MU, Froemming saw it as an opportunity to make an impact in a different way. One way of doing this was to become a mentor for younger guys on the team.

I just remember coming in as a freshman just being so intimidated by the upperclassmen, so I wanted to go out of my way and reach out to those guys and let them know they can ask me any questions that they want, if they need extra work after practice, try to understand a specific drill or play that we are running,” Froemming said. 

Froemming said with the changing of head coaches, as former head coach Joe Amplo left for the head coaching spot at Navy and Andrew Stimmel coming in this season in Amplo’s place, it allowed him to start fresh.

Stimmel said Froemming’s mentality and dedication to being a mentor is special.

“He just, on a daily basis, set the tone with his approach,” Stimmel said. “He has done a really good job at putting himself at a level where he is willing to invest time in guys who are younger than him. It was invaluable, and not everyone has that.”

Though Stimmel has only had one season with Froemming, he said he saw the defender evolve into a bigger role this year.

“It wasn’t that he wasn’t doing those things before, but I am just not sure he necessarily looked at himself as that type of leader,” Stimmel said. “He kind of put a cap, if you will, in his ability to lead. We wanted to help him see that there is kinda no ceiling for him in that category.”

Although there was no senior day at Valley Fields due to COVID-19, the team held one virtually, which Froemming said was just as meaningful.

“For me, it was really special that they felt the need to recognize us in other ways other than they traditionally would on a game day,” Froemming said. “It was pretty special just to hear from some of my teammates through texts and calls.”

Stimmel, the mastermind behind the idea, said it was the least the team could do to celebrate the seniors.

“In the midst of everything that is going on with the uncertainty and adversity that everyone is facing, we felt like it was an awesome opportunity to certainly honor these seniors,” Stimmel said. “As hard as it is for everyone that the season was canceled, to provide them with a senior day where we can speak on how much they meant to the program was really important.” 

Looking back, he said he has learned from all his teammates, but one stood out in particular — not just through his style of play, but because of who he is as a person.

“Griffin Fleming is someone I really admired (because of) how he approached being a teammate and a leader,” Froemming said. “He is just a great guy to be around, always has a smile on his face and willing to do anything he needed to do to put the team in a better position to win.”

One of Froemming’s favorite memories was going out to San Francisco during fall break his sophomore year to scrimmage Utah and Team Scotland.

“We went out a couple of days early and just got to explore the city with my teammates and then obviously play two great opponents,” Froemming said. “It was an awesome trip.” 

Despite the NCAA Division I Council granting an extra year of eligibility to spring-sport athletes due to the coronavirus, Froemming said he is ready to start the next chapter of his life.

“For me, it just makes more sense to pursue those goals,” Froemming said. “I did think about returning, but in the end, it just made more sense personally to move on the next phase of my life.”

Next year, he will be working as an analyst at Dominium Development & Acquisitions, a real estate company in Minneapolis.

Apart from his athletic abilities and character, Stimmel said Froemming is a uniquely sharp dresser.

He is a guy who is always on the edge of the latest fashion trend, and I certainly use him for advice as well like, ‘Hey Cole what do you think of these shoes, jacket?’” Stimmel said. “He is big into fashion, and it is certainly something that his teammates and I respect about him.” 

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series on Cole Froemming. Check back next week for Part Two.

This article was written by John Leuzzi. He can be reached at john.leuzzi@marquette.edu or on Twitter @JohnLeuzziMU.