Frank Mount Pleasant
|Frank Mount Pleasant|
Mount Pleasant pictured in Instano 1912, Indiana Normal yearbook
|Sport(s)||Football, baseball, track and field|
|Died||April 12, 1937 (aged 52–53)
Buffalo, New York
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Franklin & Marshall
West Virginia Wesleyan
Franklin & Marshall
|Head coaching record|
College Football Data Warehouse
Franklin P. Mount Pleasant (1884 – April 12, 1937) was an American football player, track and field athlete, and college athletics coach. He played college football at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and at Dickinson College and competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics. Mount Pleasant served as the head football coach at Franklin & Marshall College (1910), Indiana Normal School, now Indiana University of Pennsylvania, (1911–1913), West Virginia Wesleyan College (1914), and the University at Buffalo (1915).
Early life and athletic career
Separated from his parents, Chief John (aka Frank Senior) and Rachael, Mount Pleasant was sent to attend Indian Boarding Schools at a young age. He eventually attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School from 1905 to 1909, where he competed as both a long jumper on the track team and as a quarterback and halfback on the football team. The 1907 Carlisle Indian team, coached by Glenn Scobey Warner, went 10–1 with a 26–6 victory over perennial powerhouse, Harvard. The team's only loss of the season came against Princeton in a game in which Mount Pleasant did not play. Mount Pleasant's teammates included future Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jim Thorpe, and future College Football Hall of Fame inductee, Albert Exendine. Despite being a second-team All-American, Mount Pleasant never played professional football. It is said that Mount Pleasant invented the spiral pass.
During college, Mount Pleasant tried out for the Olympics and became the first Carlisle student to qualify making both the 1904 and 1908 U.S. Olympic track teams. At the 1908 Olympics in London, Mount Pleasant finished sixth in both the triple jump and the long jump competitions. This ended his track and field career, leaving him with career bests of 23 feet 2 1⁄4 inches (7.068 meters) for the long jump and 45 feet 10 inches (13.97 meters) for the triple jump.
Upon his return home, Mount Pleasant became the first Native American to graduate from Dickinson College. For three years thereafter, he coached football at the Indiana Normal School. His last two teams won state championships.
Mt. Pleasant was the head coach for the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats football team located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He held that position for the 1910 season. His coaching record at Franklin & Marshall was 4 wins, 3 losses and 2 ties. As of the conclusion of the 2010 season, this ranks him #25 at Franklin & Marshall in total wins and #16 at the school in winning percentage (.556). In 1915, he coached the University of Buffalo football team to a 3 wins, 4 loss season. Mount Pleasant's coaching career was cut short by World War I, where he served his country as a first lieutenant.
Later life, death, and honors
After the war, Mount Pleasant settled in Buffalo, New York, near his ancestral home and worked odd jobs throughout the remainder of his life. He enjoyed playing the piano. His death is a mystery. In 1937, policemen found him unconscious on a Buffalo sidewalk. He died three days later at Emergency Hospital. Initial reports indicated that Mount Pleasant sustained a fractured skull, "possibly by violence." But Francis M. Kujawa, the Buffalo medical examiner, ultimately ruled the death the effects of an accidental fall.
Several Hall of Fames have inducted Mount Pleasant, including the Indiana Normal School, Dickinson College, and the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame (1973). Chapman University in Southern California named a library after Mount Pleasant.
- Sports Reference: Olympic Sports. Frank Mount Pleasant.
- Sally Jenkins. The Team That Invented Football. Sports Illustrated April 19, 2007.
- DeLassus, David. "Franklin & Marshall Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
- "1915 Buffalo Football," University at Buffalo Digital Collections - May 29, 2013.
- AP (April 13, 1937). "Indian Gridiron Star Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- "Mt. Pleasant Death Is Ascribed To Fall.," Lockport (N.Y.) Union-Sun and Journal - April 14, 1937.
- American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.
- Chapman University: "Culture of the Haudenosaunee" Colloquium April 13, 2007
- Dickinson College Sports Hall of Fame profile
- Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs (2008) ISBN 978-0-9774486-7-8 devotes a chapter to Frank Mt. Pleasant