JUAN NAMNUN, Class of 95

CHAMPIONSHIP BASEBALL COACH,

PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER

"My foundation is to do things to the highest level,

with the highest honor."

 

F-A.COM:  What subject/s do you teach?  Who inspired you to pursue your teaching and coaching careers?

 

JUAN NAMNUN:

 

I’m a health and Physical Education teacher.  I credit two very special teachers in my life for me pursuing a teaching career.  Mrs. Lynn (8th grade teacher at Harding Middle) and Mr. Peffle (Frankford HS). They both showed me a passion for teaching and coaching that made my decision easy.

 

F-A.COM:  What is your personal foundation?  How did you build on it? 

 

JUAN NAMNUN:

 

My father worked very hard his whole life and taught me that whatever it is that I was going to do, I had to do it right and I had to do it to the best of my ability.

 

I took that through my college days and into coaching.

 

F-A.COM:  Who inspired you when you attended Frankford?  How?

 

JUAN NAMNUN:

 

Mr. Bob Peffle and Mr. Thomas Mullineaux where two coaches and teachers (as well as FKD Alum) of mine that made my four years extremely memorable and successful. 

 

They pushed me on and off the playing fields and in the classroom to always want more.  To never settle for less than my best.

 

“The leadership in 1995 and in 2018 are very similar in that they push the students to strive for excellence.”

 

F-A.COM:  How does 1995 Frankford differ from 2018 Frankford?

 

JUAN NAMNUN:

 

As in many things, time changes everything. Frankford High school was and still is a place of tradition, excellence, and a sense of family.

 

The building itself still has that grandness on the outside. On the inside, however, a plethora of murals line all the hallways with inspiring and motivating quotes and messages.

 

In the classrooms, a host of technological improvements have been added allowing for our school to keep up with the latest in academic technology.

 

The leadership in 1995 and in 2018 are very similar in that they push the students to strive for excellence.

 

F-A.COM:  As Frankford's baseball coach what challenges did you overcome?  And what has been your greatest joy?

 

“Our program is now respected state wide as a constant contender.”

 

JUAN NAMNUN:

 

Two huge challenges to me came early on in my coaching career. A few people felt that because of my youth, and perhaps other reasons, I deserved to have barriers and challenges placed upon me. Although very challenging to me at the time, I used those manufactured obstacles as fuel to succeed.

 

Another big challenge to constantly overcome are the negative perceptions outside of our area with regards to our program and players.

 

In the past, people have unfortunately placed a negative stigma simply because of our appearance and our team make-up.

 

But once we take the field, because of our respectful manner and demeanor, people quickly change their opinions. My greatest Joy has come in stages.

 

Raising our program from an inner city team to a state contender has taken time and effort.

 

From winning the school’s first ever state playoff game in 2008 to beating St. Josephs Prep for a City Championship two years ago, our program is now respected state wide as a constant contender.

 

F-A.COM:  You have been named, the first Hispanic coach of a city-wide title winning team.  How has this recognition impact your life?

 

JUAN NAMNUN:

 

Having that distinction has been an honor that will stay with me for my entire life. My father was a major influence in my baseball life. He was heavily involved in professional baseball in the Dominican Republic.

 

He would routinely challenge my thinking and force me to keep getting better as a coach. For me to have that recognition made him so very proud of me, as it did my wife and three sons. But it also showed our students that regardless of background, great things are achievable with hard work.

 

F-A.COM:  Tell us about your baseball experience at Frankford?

 

JUAN NAMNUN:

 

My baseball experience started at Frankford as a thin and young freshman in 1992. I knew a lot about Frankford because my older brother and sister were Pioneers before me.

 

I knew that I wanted to play for Coach Peffle. I was fortunate enough to make the JV team as a freshman, but got moved up to varsity half way through that year.

 

I got to learn from some of the best baseball players in our city, at that time. The next three years were very exciting for me as I got to play in major games and earn city wide recognitions.

 

I was lucky enough to play some college baseball but even luckier to come back and assist Coach Peffle for nine years before he retired and I was named head coach. The rest is history.

 

F-A.COM:  What is the secret to your success?  What advice do you give to the class of 2019?

 

My secret is to always do things like someone

I want to impress is watching.

 

JUAN NAMNUN:

 

It’s a message that was instilled into me when I was younger.

 

Do things the right way whether someone was there watching or not because the measure of real character is your behavior when no one is watching. That would be my advice.

 

Always carry yourself to the highest of standards because achievements aren’t easy and never happen without help.