Frack’s BG gift doubles (04-10-14)

BGSU President Mary
Ellen Mazey (left) and Bill Frack listen to a question during Wednesday’s press conference. (Photo
courtesy BGSU Athletic Communications Office)

FINDLAY – Bill Frack’s generosity is putting Bowling Green State University’s men’s basketball program in
an even better position to succeed.
The value of his gift to the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation, benefiting the Falcon men’s
basketball program and community needs in Hancock County, has nearly doubled to about $20 million since
it was first announced in 2011.
Three-quarters of the annual distributions from the series of existing trusts go to the men’s basketball
program with the remaining proceeds supporting community needs in Hancock County, foundation president
Katherine Kreuchauf said.
The increased endowment was announced Wednesday morning during a press conference at The Heritage.
"It’s a game-changer for us in the sense the monies are to be used above and beyond our normal
operating budget," BG athletics director Chris Kingston said. "We’re going to be able to do
things that we haven’t been able to do or that others don’t do … things above and beyond that can make
a difference in the quality of players and staff we can attract to this program."
Kingston said the possible uses of the money include paying for airplanes to allow coaches to recruit in
multiple cities on the same day, capital improvements to the Stroh Center and an improved nonconference
The money could help BG bring better nonconference opponents to the Stroh Center and increase the options
as to where the Falcons can travel for nonconference games.
"We want to raise the profile of the program, that’s one of the big pieces of Bill’s vision and our
collective vision," Kingston said. "It’s going to be great competition … a great draw for
our fans, student and alumni."
Frack has been a BG men’s basketball fan for more than six decades. His father first brought him to watch
the Falcons play in 1948 in the old Men’s Gym, and the Findlay native has remained a loyal fan.
"Many of my fondest memories revolve around BGSU basketball," Frack said in a press release.
"I want to give back to the program that has meant so much to me and to the community I’ve called
The endowment will be the single, largest private gift in university history. It’s the largest one-time
gift ever designated to a Mid-American Conference basketball program.
But the Falcons have fallen on hard times, going 101-121 overall and 54-60 in the MAC during Louis Orr’s
seven seasons as head coach. BG averaged just 1,759 fans at its 15 home games this season.
Orr’s contract wasn’t renewed last month.
"Anybody who has been a college basketball fans knows Bowling Green’s had some pretty serious
problems," Frack said during the press conference, referring to the attendance issues.
"Hopefully, this will help get people away from their television sets."
Last month, Frack donated about $700,000 to BGSU, allowing the school to offer a more competitive
compensation package to hire new head coach Chris Jans.
Jans came to BG after spending the seven seasons as an assistant coach Wichita State.
"The generosity Mr. Frack has shown to BGSU and specifically, the men’s basketball program, is
hopefully going to allow us to take this program to new heights," said Jans, who is in his third
week at BG.
"For me, it made the position more attractive with the added resources," Jans said.
"Hopefully, it can be a difference-maker as we move forward."
Wichita State has risen to national prominence with three straight trips to the NCAA tournament. It was
ranked second nationally this season and earned a No. 1 seed to the NCAA Tournament after advancing to
the NCAA Final Four in 2013.
"I’d certainly like to think that, but right now, I’m trying to figure out where the bathroom is at
the Stroh Center," Jans quipped when asked if the Falcons could become of the best mid-majors in
the country like Wichita State, Butler and Gonzaga. "We certainly have a lot of work to do to build
the foundation and I’m really not thinking that far down the road."
Jans said he is close to finalizing his coaching staff and an announcement could come in the "next
few days."
He also said the team will add 3-4 players to its roster for next season and he doesn’t anticipate any of
the current players leaving the program.