Falcon fan plans $10 million endowment for men’s basketball

BOWLING GREEN, O. – For six decades, Findlay native William Frack has followed the Bowling Green State University men’s basketball team. Now, he is taking steps to strengthen the program for generations to come with a series of irrevocable trusts that have a combined value of more than $10 million. 

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Frack’s endowment will be the largest, single private gift in BGSU’s history. It is also the largest one-time gift ever designated to a Mid-American Conference basketball program.

"This is a program changer for Falcon basketball,” Director of Athletics Greg Christopher said. “Bill’s gift is an extraordinary gesture and dramatically impacts the future of the men’s program. For decades, our coaches have worked hard with modest resources. Once fully endowed, Bill’s fund will allow BGSU to support men’s basketball at a level similar to elite non-BCS programs."

Frack’s father first brought him to watch the Falcons play in 1948 in the old Men’s Gym, and he has remained a devoted fan.

“Some of my fondest life memories center around this program,” said Frack. “Many of the relationships and life-long friendships that I have built are because of my passion for Falcon basketball. Sixty years ago, it didn’t cost much to run a Division I basketball program and be successful. Today, that is a very different case. If Butler and Gonzaga can do it, Bowling Green can do it. So, I am following my passion and am proud to provide these future financial resources to take Falcon basketball to the next level.”  

BGSU President Carol Cartwright agrees that Frack’s support can elevate the program.

“This will be transformational,” Cartwright said. “The future earnings from this permanent endowment will allow us to support our student-athletes and coaching staff by giving them the additional resources needed to be more competitive and successful.”

The president added that she is also excited about what this investment will mean for the entire University. “The benefits of this type of a private leadership gift go beyond basketball and even the athletics department. It will help elevate Bowling Green State University as a whole,” she said.

This is not the first time Frack’s generosity has touched BGSU. In 2008, he provided one of the leadership gifts to help start the Stroh Center, the University’s new arena and convocation center that will open this fall.

Head Coach Louis Orr has developed a close relationship with Frack, and said the endowment announcement is like a mid-season victory for Falcon basketball.

“The names Bill Frack and Kerm Stroh will be forever entwined with our program,” Orr said. “This latest contribution will allow us to consistently be a championship caliber program. From staffing to recruiting to increasing the number of home games against quality opponents, everyone will be impacted. Couple all this with the new Stroh Center – it’s a total win-win."

Christopher added, "The permanent endowment will touch all aspects of the program. We will be able to more adequately compensate our coaches, elevate our non-conference level of competition and host more games and increase our recruiting resources, enhance student support on the academic and conditioning fronts. It will allow us to increase our marketing of men's basketball to students, alumni and northwest Ohio."

The Findlay/Hancock Community Foundation will serve as the trustee for the donor advised fund established by Frack’s estate plan.

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(Posted January 19, 2011 )