Frank Maile Serving As Role Model
Sept. 19, 2006
By Mike Strauss Athletic Media Relations Director
Family is important to Utah State defensive lineman Frank Maile. Growing up with eight brothers and sisters, there was always family around. At Utah State, the football team has become a family. Then there is always his most important family - his immediate family, which includes wife Heather and two-year old son Max.
Balancing family time with football and school is a difficult task, but one that Maile (pronounced My-Leh) has been handling for a couple of years. The junior from Alta High School in Sandy, Utah has been able to have success in all three areas.
"It is not easy," Maile said. "I think the thing that helps me the most is my wife. She is my biggest supporter. If it weren't for her I wouldn't be able to do all of this. Thanks to her, I can balance this out because she is always behind me and supporting me in everything I do."
Frank and Heather are both going to school so they adjusted their schedules so one of them can always be with Max. Frank goes to school Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while Heather's classes are on Tuesday and Thursday.
As one could imagine, those Tuesdays and Thursdays when Maile is with Max are the best days of the week.
"We just hang out," Maile said. "He loves Elmo and he has a video he just has to watch once a day. We have a little playground behind our apartment so we hang out and play. I try to take advantage of that time."
Heather says it is easy to see how good of a father Frank is.
"I can tell how he is as a father because Max just adores him," Heather said. "There is nothing in the world that could replace his daddy. It is so cute to see them together."
Maile wants to make sure he is there for his son and serves as a good father and role model.
"I always try to be a good example to my son and let him know that I love him even though I may not be around as much as some fathers can be," Maile said. "I think he knows that. I try to take advantage of every free moment I have and play with him and spend time with him."
Maile credits his parents for his understanding of what makes a good father.
"I was fortunate to have a great father and mother," Maile said. "They were always there for me. That was a big thing. They were always there for us when we fell or when we were good."
And while growing up Maile saw the problems of not staying grounded and doing things the right way. He wants to make sure that Max takes the right path. He also wants to be a role model for other youths and said he would like to work with kids when he graduates.
"I first-hand got to see stuff and the road my brothers and family members took," Maile said. " It made me think that this is not the way I want to go. There are a lot of kids out there who don't have role models or the support. Peer pressure is strong and kids go with the flow.
"I love working with the youth because I see all the trouble going on, especially with the Polynesian kids and gangs and stuff," he said. "I want to teach and coach high school football. I want to make a difference in kids' lives."
And while he is a father and wants to be a father figure to others, he is an inspiration to his defensive line teammates.
"We call him the Godfather," said fellow Aggie lineman Alan Bishop. "He is the oldest one, the most mature, and he is the most grown up one. He brings everyone along. He has extra coaching tips for everyone. He knows what he is doing and we all respect him for his work ethic and mentally to come work hard every day."
Maile understands his role and his influence with his son, other youth, and his teammates.
"Having a family, you never know who is watching you," he said. "Like my son. I never know when he is watching me so I try to be the best example I can be so that those who are younger than me, if they need somebody to look up to or come to, they can come to me. I hope they feel comfortable to talk to me if they have any problems."
Maile learned some of that from former Aggie lineman Ronald Tupea, who was also balancing football, school and a family as well when Maile enrolled at USU.
"When I came here, Ronald Tupea, whether he tried to or not, was who I looked up to," Maile said. "I am trying to follow in his footsteps."
Maile believes his marriage and family have kept him on track to accomplish a lot in his life.
"It keeps me focused on what is important," Maile said. "I don't go to parties that are not really necessary to go to. I am able to keep my mind focused and my wife is always there to keep me in line. I think it is a positive thing. I am very grateful.
"Ever since I met Heather my life kind of calmed down and now having a kid has put things in perspective on what is important in life," he said. "I take school more seriously because I have bigger responsibilities. Some of these younger guys might not take it as seriously because they don't see the importance yet."
Those that don't see it yet, should just watch the godfather.