Frank Hinkey

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 Thorpeā€™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

The biographies contained on this website were written at the time of the honoree's induction into the Hall of Fame. No attempt has been made to update these narratives to reflect more recent events, activities, or statistics.


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