Superlative SouthPasadenans | Fred Freking

Meet a true renaissance man with a decorated past and present as well

PHOTO: Gary Goodrich | | Fred Freking has many sentimental ties between two rivaling schools, USC and UCLA

Meet Fred Freking, although you probably already have. The affable and energetic husband and father can usually be found coaching or running around one of our athletic fields playing soccer, football or just about anything else.

A professor at USC, Fred spent his formative years in Covina attending South Hills High School where he played football and wrestled. He attended U.C. Santa Barbara for his undergraduate degree and played football for the Gaucho’s all four years.

At UCSB, Fred met his wife Dioni and the rest is history. They transitioned back down to Los Angeles after graduation. Afterwards, he taught high school science in the Covina School District for a short period of time. Fred later enrolled at UCLA and finished up with a PhD in science education. While living close to campus, both Fred and Dioni instantly became ardent Bruin fans.

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Whether it is spending time every summer at Bruin Woods or religiously tailgating at the Rose Bowl for every home football game, the Frekings, including their two sons, Jackson 13 and Treyton 10, can only be described as rabid UCLA supporters.

Therein lies the dilemma, Fred is now a professor at USC’s Rossier School of Education which he thoroughly loves. Although I’m not quite sure you will ever see him do the Fight On salute, inundating himself around Trojans on a daily basis has given him a real appreciation of the people who work and go to school there. 

How long have you called South Pasadena home?

Just about 9 years.

What brought you here?

The schools mainly. And the proximity to downtown LA can’t be beat.

Favorite thing about South Pasadena?

The people! The friendships I’ve developed with so many diverse people is incredible.

One thing about our city that needs change?

Supporting scholar athletes across the board.

Favorite go to restaurant in town?

Briganti. I know the family who owns the place and they are great. Kid friendly restaurant and the pasta and desserts are always solid.

Beaches, mountains or desert?

Mammoth. Probably our go to place.

Last thing to geeked out about?

Neuroscience and the study of concussions.

What’s your one vice?

Scotch and Cigars. I guess I have two!

Morning or evening person?

I’ve learned to become a morning person with the help of my wife.

Latest hobby?

Soccer. Playing it with a bunch of local guys every weekend is great.

What book has influenced you the most?

“Demon Haunted World”, by Carl Sagan.

Favorite 80s or 90s jam?

Pretty much anything by Oingo Boingo

PHOTO: Gary Goodrich | | Fred Freking has many sentimental ties between two rivaling schools, USC and UCLA