Frank Reagan

Last updated
Frank Reagan
Frank Reagan - 1948 Bowman.jpg
Reagan on a 1948 Bowman football card
Position: Safety, punter
Personal information
Born:(1919-07-28)July 28, 1919
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died:November 20, 1972(1972-11-20) (aged 53)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:182 lb (83 kg)
Career information
High school: Northeast Catholic (PA)
College: Penn
NFL Draft: 1941  / Round: 2 / Pick: 22
Career history
As player:
As coach:
As administrator:

Francis Xavier "Frank" Reagan (July 28, 1919 – November 20, 1972) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He played professionally for the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles during a seven-season National Football League (NFL) career that spanned from 1941 to 1951. Reagan served as the head football coach at Villanova University from 1954 to 1959, compiling a record of 16–36. He was also Villanova's athletic director from 1957 to 1961.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

New York Giants National Football League franchise in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in the New York metropolitan area. The Giants compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The team plays its home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which it shares with the New York Jets in a unique arrangement. The Giants hold their summer training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

Philadelphia Eagles National Football League franchise in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. In the 2017 season the team won Super Bowl LII, their first Super Bowl win in franchise history and their fourth NFL title overall, after winning the Championship Game in 1948, 1949, and 1960.


Early life and playing career

Born in Philadelphia, Reagan was a star quarterback and defensive back at Northeast Catholic High School and led the team to championships in 1935 and 1936. He was voted 1st Team All-Scholastic by the Philadelphia Bulletin in his senior year.

Quarterback position in gridiron football

A quarterback, colloquially known as the "signal caller", is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line. In modern American football, the quarterback is usually considered the leader of the offensive team, and is often responsible for calling the play in the huddle. The quarterback also touches the ball on almost every offensive play, and is the offensive player that almost always throws forward passes.

Defensive back position in American football and Canadian football

In American football and Canadian football, defensive backs (DBs) are the players on the defensive team who take positions somewhat back from the line of scrimmage; they are distinguished from the defensive line players and linebackers, who take positions directly behind or close to the line of scrimmage.

Northeast Catholic High School opened in 1926 as Northeast Catholic High School for Boys, and was located at 1842 Torresdale Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was under the administration of the high school system of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its sports teams participated in the Philadelphia Catholic League. During the course of its history, at one point it had the largest student body of any Catholic boys school in the world, and today it is known for having the largest number of all-male alumni of any high school in the world.

Reagan then played college football at the University of Pennsylvania. Standing 5'11" and 182 lbs., Reagan was a varsity player during George Munger's first three seasons as head coach of the Penn Quakers, from 1938 to 1940. Reagan's 135 points scored is still ninth all-time in UPenn history and his 103 points scored as a senior is the second most in one season in over 120 years of Penn football. Reagan had one of the great individual performances of all time against Princeton on October 19, 1940, rushing for 200 yards, scoring five touchdowns and 31 points in a 46–28 victory at Franklin Field. In a game at Michigan in 1938, Reagan was responsible for 356 total yards, rushing for 85, passing for 188, returning kickoffs for 82 and punts for 21. Reagan was named a 1st Team All-American Back for the 1940 season. A captain of both the football and baseball teams, he was awarded the 1941 "Class of 1915 Award" as that member of the senior class who, "most closely approaches the ideal University of Pennsylvania student-athlete". Sportswriter Grantland Rice called him "one of the two best running backs in college football", the other being Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon of the University of Michigan.

College football collegiate rules version of American/Canadian football, played by student-athletes of American/Canadian colleges and universities

College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States.

University of Pennsylvania Private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence and the first institution of higher learning in the United States to refer to itself as a university. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

George Munger (American football) American football player and coach

George Almond Munger was an American athlete, coach and athletic director. He played college football and competed in track and field at the University of Pennsylvania from 1930 to 1933. He returned to Penn as head coach of the football team from 1938 to 1953 and as director of physical education from 1954 to 1974. His 1945 and 1947 teams finished ranked among the top ten college football teams in the United States, and he coached five players who were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and three who received the Maxwell Award as the best player in college football. Munger was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1976. The Maxwell Football Club has present the George Munger Award each year since 1989 to the national college football coach of the year.

Reagan was drafted in the second round of the 1941 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. After an outstanding rookie season his pro career was interrupted by his military service during World War II. Upon returning to the NFL he led the league in interceptions in 1947. He was traded to the Eagles after the 1948 season and was a big factor in helping the Eagles repeat as NFL Champions in 1949. He played starting safety and recorded seven interceptions. He also punted for a 45-yard average and returned punts for 12.7 yards per return and one touchdown. During his pro career Reagan averaged 40.9 yards on 224 career punts. He finished his NFL career with 35 interceptions. He also scored six touchdowns on offense and threw a touchdown pass.

The 1941 National Football League Draft was held on December 10, 1940, at the Willard Hotel in Washington D.C.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Safety (gridiron football position) American and Canadian football defensive position

Safety, historically known as a safetyman, is a position in American and Canadian football played by a member of the defense. The safeties are defensive backs who line up from ten to fifteen yards in front of the line of scrimmage. There are two variations of the position in a typical American formation: the free safety (FS) and the strong safety (SS). Their duties depend on the defensive scheme. The defensive responsibilities of the safety and cornerback usually involve pass coverage towards the middle and sidelines of the field, respectively. While American (11-player) formations generally use two safeties, Canadian (12-player) formations generally have one safety and two defensive halfbacks, a position not used in the American game. As professional and college football have become more focused on the passing game, safeties have become more involved in covering the eligible pass receivers.

Coaching and administrative career, later life, honors

Following his retirement as a player and a brief tenure as an assistant coach of the Eagles, Reagan went on to become head coach at Villanova University in 1954. He stayed in that position until 1959. He remained the school's athletic director until 1961 when he went into partnership in an insurance brokerage firm in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Villanova University Catholic university near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Villanova University is a private research university in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, United States. Named after Saint Thomas of Villanova, the school is the oldest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

An insurance broker sells, solicits, or negotiates insurance for compensation.

Norristown, Pennsylvania Place in Pennsylvania, United States

Norristown is a borough in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. Located along the Schuylkill River approximately six miles from the Philadelphia city limits, Norristown has a population of 34,324 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. It is the fourth most populous municipality in the county and second most populous borough in Pennsylvania.

Reagan died of complications of lung cancer at age 53 in 1972. [1] He is enshrined in both the Northeast Catholic HS Hall of Fame and the University of Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. In 2000, Philadelphia Daily News sports writer Ted Silary named Reagan as the best Philadelphia area born punter of the 20th century.

Lung cancer cancer in the lung

Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth can spread beyond the lung by the process of metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in the lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas. The two main types are small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The most common symptoms are coughing, weight loss, shortness of breath, and chest pains.

<i>Philadelphia Daily News</i> daily newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Daily News is a tabloid newspaper that serves Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The newspaper is owned by Philadelphia Media Network, which also owns Philadelphia's other major newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Head coaching record

Villanova Wildcats (NCAA University Division independent)(1954–1959)
1954 Villanova 1–9
1955 Villanova 1–9
1956 Villanova 5–4
1959 Villanova 3–6
1958 Villanova 6–4
1959 Villanova 0–4

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  1. "Ex-Football Star, Frank Reagan, Dies", The Southern Illinoisan , November 21, 1972, Carbondale, Illinois