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Frank Joranko (July 1, 1930 – March 8, 2019)[1] was an American football and baseball player and coach. He was the head baseball coach at Albion College from 1973 to 1995, the head football coach from 1973 to 1982, and the athletic director from 1975 to 1991.

Frank Joranko
Biographical details
Born(1930-07-01)July 1, 1930
Titusville, Ohio
DiedMarch 8, 2019(2019-03-08) (aged 88)
Nashville, Tennessee
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1961–1972Ferndale HS (MI)
Head coaching record
Overall49–39–3 (college football)
0–1 (NCAA D-III playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
2 MIAA (1976–1977)

9 MIAA (1973, 1976, 1979, 1981–1982, 1988–1989, 1993, 1995)

Athlete at AlbionEdit

A native of Titusville, Ohio,[2] Joranko attended Albion College and graduated in the Class of 1954. While at Albion, he earned nine varsity letters in three sports—four each in football and baseball and one in basketball.[3] He was the quarterback and defensive end for the school's football team and was selected as the most valuable player in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association ("MIAA") in 1951.[4] After Joranko scored two touchdowns in a September 1950 game against Ashland University, one newspaper reporter wrote that Joranko "held honors for the prettiest run thus far in the fall campaign."[5] Joranko intercepted a pass in Albion's end zone and rank the ball back 105 yards for at touchdown. Albion coach Del Anderson called it "the longest and most exciting dash I've ever seen."[5] Joranko also played on Albion's 1950 MIAA championship baseball team.[3]

Military Service and high school coachEdit

From 1953 to 1955, Joranko served in the U.S. Army as a physical conditioner at an army hospital in El Paso, Texas.[6] Following his service in the military, Joranko became a teacher and coach in northern Ohio.[7] Joranko taught English and coached backfield at Royal Oak Dondero high school for four years through the spring of 1961.[8] He was the football coach at Ferndale High School in Ferndale, Michigan for 12 years from 1961 to 1973.[9] He had three unbeaten teams at Ferndale and led Ferndale to its first state football championship in 1972.[10][11] Joranko's overall record at Ferndale was 84–19–5.[2]

Coach and athletic director at Albion CollegeEdit

In January 1973, Joranko returned to Albion College as the head coach of its football and baseball teams.[3] He was Albion's head football coach for ten years from 1973 to 1982 and led the school to two MIAA championships.[7] His best seasons as Albion's football coach came in 1976 with an undefeated 9–0 season and 1977 with an 8–2 record.[12] His 1976 team led NCAA Division III in both total defense and scoring defense and finished the season ranked as the No. 3 team in NCAA Division III football.[13] Joranko's career record at Albion was 49–39–3.[12]

In 1980, Joranko was interviewed in an Associated Press story about the success of Division III schools, including Albion, in producing scholar-athletes. The article noted that 100% of Albion's senior football players in 1979 received their degrees. Joranko explained:

"I think, first of all, at the Division III level, the student comes to school more for studies. For example, if they have a lab or a test — they miss practice at Albion. Also, at smaller schools, the kids are apt to be a better student just to get accepted. So, his chances of success in the classroom are probably higher here."[14]

Joranko was Albion's baseball coach from 1973 to 1995. He had over 300 career coaching wins in baseball at Albion, and his teams won 9 MIAA baseball championships and reached the Division III playoffs in 1979 and 1982.[7] Joranko was a member of the NCAA's baseball rules committee and the regional selection committee. He was instrumental in bringing the NCAA Division III baseball tournament to Battle Creek, Michigan from 1990 to 1994, and he served as the tournament director during those years.[3][15] When Joranko retired in 1995, the baseball field at Albion was named Frank Joranko Field in his honor.[7]

Joranko was also Albion's athletic director from 1975 to 1991. During that time, Albion introduced women's golf and soccer as varsity sports.[3] Joranko was also a professor of physical education at Albion until he retired in 1995.[3]

Joranko is the only person who has been inducted twice into the Albion College Athletic Hall of Fame,[7] first as an athlete in 1991,[15] and as an administrator and coach in 1995.[6]


Joranko and his wife, Joyce Weiss Joranko, had three sons, James, Dan and Tim. His sons Tim and James are both deceased and Dan is the only living child. Joranko has two grandchildren.[6]

Head coaching recordEdit

College footballEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Albion Britons (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1973–1982)
1973 Albion 3–6 3–2 T–2nd
1974 Albion 3–6 2–3 4th
1975 Albion 6–2–1 2–2–1 3rd
1976 Albion 9–0 5–0 1st
1977 Albion 8–1 5–0 1st L NCAA Division III First Round
1978 Albion 4–5 2–3 4th
1979 Albion 4–5 3–2 3rd
1980 Albion 5–4 2–3 T–3rd
1991 Albion 4–4–1 2–2–1 3rd
1982 Albion 3–5–1 2–2–1 T–3rd
Albion: 49–39–3 28–19–3
Total: 49–39–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ "Frank Joranko Obituary – Nashville, TN | The Tennessean". The Tennessean. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Joranko To Talk At Elks Banquet". The News-Palladium. Benton Harbor, Michigan. May 18, 1973. p. 16. Retrieved April 23, 2019 – via  .
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Lifetime Achievement Awards". Albion College. 2009-07-28.
  4. ^ "Open MIAA Play on Saturday". The Owosso Argus-Press. 1952-10-09.
  5. ^ a b "Albion Captures Second Victory". The News-Palladium, Benton Harbor, Michigan. 1950-09-25.
  6. ^ a b c "1995 Inductees". Albion College.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Joranko Field". Albion College. 2005-01-18.
  8. ^ Dondero yearbook, Vol. 79, Ed. 42 (1961). Oak '61. pp. 34, 82.
  9. ^ "Legendary Ferndale Football Coach Frank Joranko Donates Award to School".
  10. ^ "Albion Picks Joranko as Coach". The Argus-Press. 1972-11-30.
  11. ^ Another press account states that Ferndale finished second by one point to Bay City Central High School in the final Class A poll for 1972.
  12. ^ a b "Frank Joranko Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse.
  13. ^ "Beckholt may assist Stolz at Bowling Green". Chronicle Telegram, Elyria, Ohio. 1976-12-24. (This article reflects Albion's 1976 record as 11–0, whereas College Football Data Warehouse reflects the record as 9–0.)
  14. ^ "Division III Schools Top Scholar-Athletes Ratings". Ironwood Daily Globe (AP wire story). 1980-12-18.
  15. ^ a b "1991". Albion College.