Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Frank "Wick" Wickhorst

Frank "Wick" Wickhorst

Details

  • Position: Tackle
  • School: Navy
  • High School: Aurora IL (East Aurora HS) Oak Park, IL (Oak Park HS)
  • Years: 1924-1926
  • Inducted: 1970
  • Place of Birth: Aurora, IL
  • Date of Birth: Mar 18, 1906
  • Place of Death: Oakland, CA
  • Date of Death: Apr 01, 1965
  • Jersey Number: 57
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 218

Member Biography

It was late in the game. Army led, 21-14, and threatened to destroy Navy's bid for an unbeaten season. Navy's ball on its own 30 and time ticking away. Frank Wickhorst, the Navy captain, huddled his team and spoke: "Do you guys see that goal line down there?" he said, pointing beyond the Army defense. "We are going to cross it - and we're not going to lose the ball until we put it across." Moments later, Alan Shapley scored for the Midshipmen and Hall of Famer Tom Hamilton kicked the conversion point to provide a 21-21 tie and preserve Navy's undefeated status. Wickhorst was the inspirational leader and an All-American that season, a workhorse lineman who almost played his college football at another school. He was a freshman teammate of legendary "Red" Grange at Illinois when he received his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. The Aurora, Illinois; native went on to a distinguished career in the military and, later, was head football coach at California. During World War II, Wickhorst and Tom Hamilton joined to found the famous Naval Pre- Flight Training Program and served together aboard the Carrier "Enterprise". Wickhorst later became an executive with the Henry J. Kaiser Company.