Frederick Gunn was a champion of the arts, athletics and the natural world. He established the school’s first athletic teams and encouraged his students to participate in sports based on his conviction that they “strengthened not merely muscle and nerve, but character as well.” 

Today, The Frederick Gunn School’s athletic and co-curricular programs continue to be guided by Mr. Gunn’s philosophy. With 35 teams competing in 15 sports, you also have the chance to take your skills to a new level or try something completely new.

  • Every student is required to participate in a co-curricular activity every term.

  • All new students are required to play at least two interscholastic sports.

  • All returning students must participate in at least one interscholastic sport, whether it’s football, softball or Highlander ice hockey, which is co-ed and open to students even if they’ve never laced up a pair of skates before.  

Part of what makes The Frederick Gunn School's athletic program stand out is the approach of Director of Athletics Mike Marich, who believes:

  • It’s about seeing beyond wins and losses and x’s and o’s.

  • It’s about helping students to develop character and teaching life lessons through the games they love.

  • It’s about the experience.

“My goal is for students to learn to be resilient, to be the kind of person who doesn’t get discouraged easily, bounces back and is willing to take the big shot – both on and off the field. “I was very lucky to fulfill a childhood dream by becoming a student-athlete in college and I like to use stories to teach the students some of the lessons I learned along the way,” Marich said. 

At FGS, our primary commitment is to provide an opportunity for student-athletes to fully develop their academic and athletic potential while simultaneously preparing them for success in college and life beyond FGS. These opportunities include:

  • the drive to take one’s talents to the highest level of performance

  • embracing the discipline needed to reach high standards

  • learning to work with others as a team in pursuit of a common goal

  • adherence to codes of fairness and respect

The Frederick Gunn School's commitment to excellence in athletics is part of a larger commitment to excellence in education. Athletes are expected to adhere to a level of conduct that brings credit to themselves and the school, and to uphold the values stated in our school’s mission: character, citizenship, and service. Through practice, training and competition, the department strives to instill these character traits in every student-athlete:

  • Engagement: regular co-curricular interactions with FGS peers and faculty that build community and lifelong relationships

  • Collaboration: the experience of working together with FGS peers and faculty towards a common goal and learning selflessness by being a part of something bigger than oneself

  • Fitness: achieved by engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise, and learning how to be/stay fit; learning the value of physical fitness, and learning the lifelong ideals of healthy living

  • Competition: striving, individually and collectively against others toward a goal, and risking the adversity and potential failure that accompanies that endeavor

Athletics at FGS had a direct impact on who I am today. The two years I spent [at school] taught me crucial skills like discipline, leadership, and respect, which allowed me to physically and emotionally mature.  Because of what FGS taught me between academics and sports, I learned how to be an effective leader, but also how to be the best teammate I can be. Being surrounded by very competitive but motivated coaches and teammates also pushed me to reach academic and athletic goals that didn’t seem attainable to me before I came to FGS.

The skills that I learned didn’t just help me during my time at FGS, but they have fostered an attitude that was necessary when I transitioned into my first year of playing college [athletics]. Thanks to [my coaches] and my teammates throughout my time at FGS, I was more than prepared to step into college.

Morgan Wells '17

Athletics News

Varsity Baseball vs. Millbrook April 17, 2021

Student-athletes were honored at School Meeting on May 28, when Athletic Director Mike Marich P’23 ’24 presented the spring team awards in the Tisch Family Auditorium. “Mr. Gunn knew that character was developed and honed in co-curricular activities. Athletics may look very different today than it did back in his time but the lessons learned are largely the same – lessons like, hard work, confidence, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship, trust, and being part of something bigger than yourself. It is my hope that all of you experienced many of those lessons in your athletic experiences,” Marich said, congratulating all of this year’s award recipients.

The Teddy National

Students have been taking advantage of the school’s outdoor spaces this spring, whether fishing off the dock at Beebe Boathouse, working in the school’s gardens, playing Spikeball or volleyball on the Koven-Jones Glade, or gazing at the stars on the turf field. After classes, you might even see a few students playing a quick round of golf at Teddy National.

Cait Ward, LoveYourBrain Ambassador

The Girls Varsity Hockey Team has organized its second annual fundraiser in support of the LoveYourBrain Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “improve the quality of life of people affected by traumatic brain injury through programs that build community and foster resilience.”

Jeremy Cohen '87 and Justin Dunn '13

The second installment of The Frederick Gunn School 2021 Speaker Series featured Justin Dunn ’13, right-handed pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, and Jeremy Cohen ’87, Vice President and Group Director of Partnership Activation at Major League Baseball, who shared two different perspectives on their MLB careers, and what their experience has been like living in this time of COVID-19.

Joyce McFarland '20 painting in TPACC

Today marked the start of a new Co-Curricular Program for the Winter Term. Students are required to attend two, half-hour sessions each week with options that range from sports psychology, outdoor recreation and a Mind & Body Fitness Challenge to music, photography, Model United Nations (MUN), engineering and more.

A Good Fit: Emerson Fitness Center Debuts

Work was completed this month on the new Emerson Fitness Center, a 2,800-square-foot space on the main level of the former Emerson Performing Arts Center. The new center features a wide variety of cardio and strength-training equipment, deadlift platforms, indoor turf for strength and conditioning training, and Peloton® bikes.