Frank Downing

(Class of 1946)

Born and bred in Brooklyn, Frank Downing was already a legend on the sandlot fields of Flatbush by the time he arrived at Brooklyn Tech. Frank played varsity for 3 seasons and his first was on the 1943 squad that went undefeated and was Tech’s first City Championship team. He was a 2 year starter at quarterback where he was a triple threat as a passer, runner and kicker. In his senior year he was named co-captain and selected to the Brooklyn Eagle’s 1st team all star squad.

After graduating, Frank served in the Army where he was the athletic director for the ordinance department and also played for the Camp Lee football team. Upon his discharge from the Army in 1947 Frank enrolled at Lafayette College where he picked up right where he left off at Tech. He was a 3 year starter at quarterback. In his senior year he was named the freshman team coach. Frank was also vice president of the student council at Lafayette. At his graduation ceremony he received the “Wharton Pepper Award “ which was given to a graduate who best exemplified the ideal Lafayette student. Frank was later inducted into the Lafayette Athletic Hall of Fame. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English.

Following his graduation Frank took a teaching position at Camp Hill High School in Pennsylvania. He was also named head football coach. During the several seasons he at Camp Hill he built a legacy as a mentor and inspiration to his students and players. He became fondly known as “coach “or “Doctor D”. After relocating to Florida, he continued his success as a teacher and football coach at Miami’s Coral Park High School. Throughout his life Frank Downing emphasized the importance of education. He went on to receive Doctorate in Education and became an academic athletic adviser at both Penn State and the University of Kentucky. He volunteered his time to tutor children and adults to enhance their reading and writing skills. Frank was also the co-founder of the National Association for Academic Advisors of Athletics dedicated to assisting student athletes in earning their college degrees.

In his personal life Frank met his high school sweetheart and love of his life Marilyn Thompson following the famous 1944 “Bond Bowl “game played at Ebbets Field before 25,000 fans. They were married in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in June of 1949. Together they welcomed 3 children Denise, Kevin and Valerie and 2 grandchildren Jason and Derek. Frank Downing passed away on October 15, 2019 at the age of 92.