Coach ‘DJ FrainTrain’ finds careers outside rink

Unpaid club coaches find career alternatives.

Ryan Frain works part-time as a local DJ. Frain volunteers as Temple’s ice hockey coach. | COURTESY Ryan Frain
Ryan Frain works part-time as a local DJ. Frain volunteers as Temple’s ice hockey coach. | COURTESY Ryan Frain

When Ryan Frain isn’t coaching Temple hockey or working as a marketing specialist for Farmers Insurance, he’s blasting music and bumping out beats as DJ FrainTrain.

“I’ve DJed birthday parties, communion parties, graduations,” Frain said. “You name it, I did it. DJing is a cool thing, especially if you like music. I don’t think it’s that hard. You’ve just got to read the crowd and go with it.”

Ice hockey is sponsored by Campus Recreation as one of the 26 club sports teams. Because of that, Frain does not get paid for his coaching duties, other than a stipend distributed at the end of the year to cover road trip expenses. Along with his marketing job, Frain said DJing is a way to make supplemental income.

Frain said he got his start DJing 10 years ago. While at a family party, the DJ working the event came up to Frain and his cousin and asked if they would be interested in DJing. As an avid music fan, Frain got involved immediately.

“I like music a lot,” Frain said. “And me and my cousin just hopped into it. We didn’t really have anything to lose. It’s something that gets extra money in our pockets and I really started to like it.”

Frain said he chose the handle DJ FrainTrain because it was a nickname his old teammates used to call him and it stuck. However, Frain hasn’t been blasting out music as much lately. Though he said he still does it from time to time, it’s happening less frequently because of his increased work with his marketing job and his duties as club ice hockey coach.

Although being a DJ helps Frain earn extra income, coaching takes up a large amount of his time, of which he is not getting paid for. Still, Frain said that doesn’t bother him.

“I love hockey,” Frain said. “I love Temple ice hockey. I really care about the program, and I want to see it succeed for the future.”

As a former player for Temple, Frain holds the school record for points –  225 – and was part of the team that went to the American Collegiate Hockey Association national playoffs four years ago. Continuing his Temple career – first as an assistant coach and now in his first season as head coach – was a no-brainer for Frain.

“Starting from day one as a freshman to my last game we played at nationals, I really loved the team and my teammates and the program,” Frain said. “It taught me a lot about hockey and real life. I wanted to get an opportunity to [coach], to give back. Just like how I was given the opportunity to play and to grow as a person.”

Even if Campus Recreation didn’t pay food and travel expenses, Frain said he would still pay out of his own pocket to continue to coach.

“I’m obviously not going to turn down the stipend that they’re giving me so I can break even, but even if there was still nothing there, I would still do it,” Frain said.

“The position itself takes up a lot of time,” senior goaltender Chris Mullen said. “As athletes, it takes up a lot of time on our part, but [Frain’s] putting in just as much time and then even more because he has to think up practice plans, and review the game tape, come up with different strategies based on who we’re playing each week. It’s got to be tough because he’s not getting paid, but he definitely has a passion for the game. He’s a guy that just loves hockey, loves Temple, so I think that makes up for the lack of monetary benefit.”

Looking forward to the future of Temple hockey, Frain said he is happier than ever and would like to continue coaching.

“He’s a good coach,” sophomore forward Greg Malinowski said. “He’s really making some strides, he’s been getting better every week. He’s a good coach now, and he’s going to be a great coach someday.”

Samuel Matthews can be reached at or on Twitter  @SJMatthews13.

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