Frank, Leonard : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Frank, Leonard

Frank played end and tackle for the football team, and was the first man at the University of Minnesota to win eight letters (he also played basketball and ran track). On November 18, 1911, he made the play for which he is best remembered. Frank said, "The game was against Wisconsin, we were undefeated and had won five straight. So had the Badgers...The morning of the game at Madison, the entire field was a sheet of ice, and snow fell during the game. It was a hard fought battle, ending in a 6-6 tie. Seconds before the final whistle I was credited with saving Minnesota from defeat by pushing Wisconsin quarterback Keckie Moll out of bounds on the one-yard line. I raced across the field just in time to cut him down. Wisconsin tried one play after that, we held, and the game ended in a tie. We finished the season 6-0-1" and the Gophers won the conference title that year.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. December 1, 1889 - d. April 1967

Career Highlights:
Frank was an outstanding player for Minnesota in the early 1910s. He helped lead them to back-to-back conference titles in 1910 and 1911 and was named first team All-America, first team All-Western, and first team All-Conference in 1911.

Walter Eckersall, a three time All-America in the 1900s, wrote of Frank's famous 1911 play, "...Minnesota was fortunate in having a lineman who was the nearest approach this season to Benbrook of Michigan (an All-America)...He (Frank) was a hard aggressive player who mixed in every play and he was down the field under punts with the ends. His offensive tackling and smashing of plays on his side of the line made his services invaluable. He was absolutely dependable and he did not meet an opponent all season who could successfully check him."

After graduating in 1912, Frank was an assistant coach at Kansas State for two years before returning to St. Paul and opening a business. He also helped coach the Gophers for 12 years until 1925. He said, "My career in athletics helped me in many ways. I made lifelong friends among teammates and among men on opposing teams...When I resumed law practice in 1952...was helped because of friends I made in college, and people who still remembered my name 40 years after graduation."

Chicago, Illinois

Career Dates:
Frank played end and tackle at the University of Minnesota from 1910-1911. He was assistant coach at Kansas State from 1912-1913, and assistant coach at Minnesota from 1914-1925.

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)