Frank Hinkey

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Frank Hinkey
Nickname: “Silent Frank”

Born on December 23, 1871 in Tonawanda, NY

Attended Deveaux Military prep and Yale University.

Passed away on December 30, 1925 in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Athletic Career:

  • Diagnosed with tuberculosis and recommended to not play or do anything physically enduring.
  • Frank transferred to Phillips Andover academy, a Yale feeder school.
  • Frank rushed for 60 yards in the final game of the season against one of his prep school’s biggest rivals. Lead his team to beating them 16-0.
  • His nickname “Silent Frank” was given by his classmates for his dislike of talking.
  • Went to Yale and played on their football team.
  • Hinkey the unquestioned leader, won national championships in three of his four seasons. He was a two-time captain; a four-time All-American.
  • Led Yale to a 52-1 record during his four seasons, outscoring opponents 1,730-25
  • When he graduated from Yale, he stayed a year and coached the team.
  • He was accepted into Yale’s law school, but decided to go back home to Tonawanda, New York.
  • Considered the greatest football player of the 19th century
  • Universally considered to be the greatest football player until Jim Thorpe’s arrival
  • He played so hard that Harvard suspended their annual game versus Yale
  • In 1897 he witnessed a yacht capsize and saw eight people drowning. He risked his personal safety and saved all eight people.
  • Named an all-time All-America end by Walter Camp in 1910, Pop Warner in 1930, Parke Davis in 1934, and Football Writers Association of America in 1969
  • He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in1951. One of only five WNYers

Virtual museum strictly devoted to him