Saturday, December 19, 2015


Frank was the first Serbian I ever knew, and he was the first Nebraska first-team football player I knew, too. We were fraternity brothers in the mid-60's, and today his Ohio University Bobcats take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers. The Mountaineers are best known for their 2007 upset of Michigan...and that Danny is an alum.

That alum status makes us a "house divided," but we will be rooting for a good game.

Frank was booted from his post as Nebraska head coach because he was "only" winning 9 games a season. In favor of a couple of not-so-goods. Frank still has the best winning record at Nebraska except for Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne.

All of us Sigma Nus of the era are proud of Frank, his play, his cover of Sports Illustrated, his record as a coach and his character. There were a lot of high-performance people that came out of those early baby-boom classmates and fraternity brothers, and he is an excellent example.

Football, even back then, took a toll on social life, so I can't say that Frank was one of my close friends, but he was a good guy and a regular guy. For one thing, he is small--his playing weight was listed at something like 165 pounds. He played fullback and held the single-game rushing record for Nebraska for many years until the advent of the I-formation, and a guy named I.M. Hipp broke the record.

Both Frank and Larry Wacholtz, a North Platte boy who played defense, were sensitive about their size in major college football, so they would tape weights under their shorts for weigh-ins--which he never confirmed nor denied.

A vivid memory for me was a Saturday night. A classmate of mine, Jim Stevenson and I were juggling baseballs trying to perfect the technique of passing back and forth. Frank came by, had only a short time before a date (while Jim and I were LOSERS!! staying in) but he wanted to learn how to juggle. "Frank, be happy to teach you, but it takes a long time to learn. Years." Within a few minutes, he was doing as well as either of us, and Jim was a Division-1 baseball athlete. Frank's athleticism was beyond anything I had ever seen.

Jim's name is on the Wall in Washington, killed in action in Viet Nam. How much the world missed.

The Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama. Today. Should be a good game.

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