U.S. Coast Guard Captain Frank S. Kapral was the sixth person to gain honorary membership into the Coast Guard Academy Hall of Fame. Kapral's association with the Academy began in 1958 He became the Academy’s head wrestling coach, founder of the Academy's Small Fry Wrestling Program, Commissioner of the Southeastern Connecticut Interscholastic Wrestling Officials' Association and as the head football coach during Otto Graham’s stint as the coach of the Washington Redskins. Graham, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, had been the Academy’s football coach.
A graduate of Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania, Kapral attended Michigan State University where he won All-American recognition for his play as an offensive guard on the undefeated 1951 Spartan football team, ranked number two in the country. Later that year Kapral was selected to play in the Blue-Gray Bowl Game and was named captain of the Blue Team which was coached by Rip Engle. His play in the postseason game later earned him a spot on the All-Time Blue Team. Following graduation, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and played a brief while with the professional club before serving a two-year Army hitch during the Korean War.
Kapral's coaching career began at his alma mater, Michigan State University. He then moved on to two Michigan high schools, Dartmouth College, and in 1958, to the Coast Guard Academy. As a coach, Kapral served under four of the biggest names in college football —Biggie Munn and Duffy Daugherty at Michigan State, Bob Blackman, at Dartmouth, and Otto Graham, the former Cleveland Browns quarterback, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College All-Star coach. During Graham’s stint as coach of the Washington Redskins, Kapral served 2 years as head football coach at the Coast Guard Academy.
Wrestler, Coach, and Author
Kapral was a National AAU 191pound champion at Michigan State. At the Coast Guard Academy, he coached varsity wrestling for seven seasons, posting a 56-14-4 record and producing a number of New England champions. During his era he gave birth to the Coast Guard Invitational Wrestling Tournament. He built it from a 6 competing schools to 18 that included some of the finest wrestling talent in America. He also authored a widely known and useful text on intercollegiate wrestling and numerous articles on both football and wrestling.
Kapral was the founder of the Academy's Small Fry Wrestling Program, which instructed area youngsters in the fundamentals of wrestling and was a huge success in the 1960's. Kapral also formed the state's first Pee Wee Wrestling League through which hundreds of youngsters, throughout southern New England, learned the sport.
CommissionerKapral served as Commissioner of the Southeastern Connecticut Interscholastic Wrestling Officials' Association for over 25 years. He is credited with virtually founding wrestling in Connecticut. Some of his proteges have used the knowledge he imparted to them to direct high school teams to state championships. East Lyme High School coach, Rick Sherman, said of Kapral, "He's sort of a wrestling guru. I learned from him. He's done so much for the sport in Connecticut. Some of the biggest wrestling names in the State have learned from Frank Kapral. He's helped to get their programs started and reach the high level at which they are today."
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Frank S. Kapral is a former American football coach. He was the head football coach at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. He held that position for the 1966 and 1967 seasons. His record at Coast Guard was 0–16.
Frank Kapral and his wife Doris, reside in East Lyme, Conn. They are the parents of six children.
- ↑ DeLassus, David. "United States Coast Guard Academy Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. https://web.archive.org/web/20101120212930/http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_iii/nefc/coast_guard/coaching_records.php. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
3. The United States Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association Bulletin,1984-05 Volume 46, No. 03-0394. Coach’s Illustrated Guide to Championship Wrestling, by Lt. Frank S. Kapral. 1964 by Prentice-Hall, Inc., 13919-B.C.; Library of Congress Catalog Number 64-15213