Henry Frnka

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Henry Frnka
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1903-03-16)March 16, 1903
Garwood, Texas
Died December 18, 1980(1980-12-18) (aged 77)
San Antonio, Texas
Playing career
1922 Austin
Position(s) Halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1935–1939 Vanderbilt (assistant)
1940 Temple (assistant)
1941–1945 Tulsa
1946–1951 Tulane
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1941–1945 Tulsa
Head coaching record
Overall 71–32–5 (college)
103–8–7 (high school)
Bowls 2–3
Accomplishments and honors
3 MVC (1941–1943)
1 SEC (1949)

Henry E. Frnka (/ˈfræŋkə/ FRANGK; March 16, 1903 – December 18, 1980) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head coach at the University of Tulsa from 1941 to 1945 and at Tulane University from 1946 to 1951, compiling a career college football record of 71–32–5. Frnka was also the athletic director at Tulsa from 1941 to 1945.

Coaching career[edit]

High school[edit]

Prior to his coaching career at the college level, Frnka was the head coach of a high school team in Greenville, Texas and led them to a Texas state championship in 1933. He used the fumblerooski for the very first time in the 1933 Texas High School Championship game with the Greenville Lions.[citation needed]


From 1941-45, Frnka coached at the University of Tulsa, and compiled a 40–9–1 record. The Tulsa Golden Hurricane had never been to a bowl game before, and he took them to five straight, becoming Tulsa's most prolific coach. The Golden Hurricane won three league titles, and outscored opponents 1,552 to 375. He led the team to their first bowl game and a school-best national ranking of No. 4 at the end of the 1942 season.


From 1946 to 1951, Frnka coached at Tulane University, and compiled a 31–23–4 record. Since the 1920s, the Tulane Green Wave had been a national power in college football, and Frnka-led teams produced records of 9–1 in 1948, 7–2–1 in 1949, and 6–2–1 in 1950. In a 1949 issue devoted to a preview of that year's college football season, SPORT magazine declared that Tulane was the best team in the country.


Frnka died on December 18, 1980 in San Antonio, Texas at the age of 77.[1]

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs AP#
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (Missouri Valley Conference) (1941–1945)
1941 Tulsa 8–2 4–0 1st W Sun
1942 Tulsa 10–1 5–0 1st L Sugar 4
1943 Tulsa 6–1–1 1–0 1st L Sugar 15
1944 Tulsa 8–2 W Orange
1945 Tulsa 8–3 2–1 2nd L Oil 17
Tulsa: 40–9–1
Tulane Green Wave (Southeastern Conference) (1946–1951)
1946 Tulane 3–7 2–4 9th
1947 Tulane 2–5–2 2–3–2 7th
1948 Tulane 9–1 5–1 3rd 13
1949 Tulane 7–2–1 5–1 1st
1950 Tulane 6–2–1 3–1–1 4th 20
1951 Tulane 4–6 1–5 11th
Tulane: 31–23–4 18–15–3
Total: 71–32–5
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ AP (December 20, 1980). "Former Tulane, Tulsa coach dies". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved October 2, 2010. 

External links[edit]