Frank Froschauer
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One of the University of Illinois’ greatest all-around athletes of the 1930s was born on this date — June 6 — in 1912.

From September 1932 through March 1935, the name Frank Froschauer frequented stories that covered Fighting Illini football and basketball.

As a member of Coach Bob Zuppke’s football team from 1932 through ’34, the Lincoln native was a prominent contributor from his half-back position. Racking up a 7-1 overall record and finishing 4-1 in Big Ten Conference play, Froschauer’s senior-year team was Zuppke’s last great club. It defeated Ohio State, Michigan and Army in succession, outscoring its eight foes 103-43.

On the basketball court, the 6-foot-1 Froschauer was even more proficient, leading the team in scoring during each of his three varsity campaigns from 1933-35. He averaged eight points per game in an era when the entire Illini squad typically scored only thirty points per contest. With Froschauer as captain, Illinois’ ’34-35 club won the Big Ten championship with a 9-3 conference record, claiming the school’s first basketball title in 11 years.

The Phi Sigma Kappa member graduated in 1935 with a physical education degree.

Just a month later, Harvey Thornton Township High School named Froschauer as assistant coach. He later became a head coach and wound up a 37-year career at Thornton’s athletic director in 1972. Froschauer hired Ron Ferguson as Thornton’s basketball coach and the school’s ’72 team, led by Quinn Buckner, won the state title.

Froschauer was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame as a player in 1976.

He retired in Green Bay, Wis., and died in April of 1985 at the age of 72.

Illini Birthdays:

Sunday: Kurt Steger, football/baseball (65)

Monday: Randy Lane, gymnastics (54)

Tuesday: Devin Quinn, track & field (25)

Wednesday: Emilio Marrero, gymnastics (52)

Thursday: David Williams, football (58)

Friday: Rod Tolbert, track & field (54)

Saturday: Manning Plater, track & field (24)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore (Third Edition now available in stores). Get more Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @IlliniLegends and @Spartifacts2021. His website is www.SportsLLL.com.

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