Frank Navarro
Biographical details
Born (1931-02-15) February 15, 1931 (age 89)
White Plains, New York
Alma materUniversity of Maryland
Playing career
Head coaching record
Tournaments2–1 (NCAA D-III playoffs)

Frank F. Navarro (born February 15, 1931) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Williams College (1963–1967), Columbia University (1968–1973), Wabash College (1974–1977), and Princeton University (1978–1984), compiling a career college football coaching record of 99–99–6. In 1953, Navarro graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1953, where he played on the Maryland Terrapins football team.[1] as offensive guard. As the Korean War broke out, Navarro took action and joined the Air Force. After a two-year stint in the Air Force Navarro headed to Teachers College at Columbia University, where the Lions head football coach Lou Little offered him the job of assistant offensive line coach under John Bateman in 1955. Little's offer ended Navarro's pursuit of teaching and got him on the path to a career in coaching. As an assistant to Watters, Frank Navarro introduced the "Monster Defense" at Williams and rang up a slew of shutouts in the early 1960s. In 1961 and 1962 the Ephs won 12 games and 8 of those wins came by blanking the opposition. The monster defense was designed for the linemen to tie up the blockers and allow the linebackers to make the tackles. The monster defense featured a new technique – slanting defensive linemen. The monster or the scrape linebacker was the one who was targeted to make the tackles after the linemen tied up the offensive line.

After the 1967 season Navarro left Williams to become the head coach at Columbia (1968–73), before heading to Wabash College (1974–77) and then closed out his coaching career at Princeton (1978–84). Even though Navarro led Wabash to the NCAA title game in 1977 where they fell to Widener, he has always had special feelings for his time at Williams. When he left coaching in 1984 Navarro moved with his wife Jill to Charlestown, Rhode Island to live in their summer home. For one year he served as a color commentator for UMass football broadcasts and later spent six years on the broadcasts of the University of Rhode Island Rams.

Personal lifeEdit

He also spent time working with sons Damon, Brian and Ed on real estate syndication. Navarro currently lives in Rhode Island with his wife Jill.

His son, Ben Navarro is a billionaire businessman, the founder and CEO of Sherman Financial Group.[2]

Coaching careerEdit

Navarro coached at Williams College from 1963 to 1967 and amassed a record of 28–11–1.[3] While at Williams College, Norman Rockwell used him as the model for the coach in his painting, The Recruit.[4] He was the 28th head football coach at Wabash College, serving from 1974 until 1977 and tallying a record of 26–17.

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Williams Ephs () (1963–1967)
1963 Williams 2–6
1964 Williams 7–1
1965 Williams 6–2
1966 Williams 6–2
1967 Williams 7–0–1
Williams: 28–11–1
Columbia Lions (Ivy League) (1968–1973)
1968 Columbia 2–7 2–5 6th
1969 Columbia 1–8 1–6 T–7th
1970 Columbia 3–6 1–6 T–7th
1971 Columbia 6–3 5–2 3rd
1972 Columbia 3–5–1 2–4–1 T–6th
1973 Columbia 1–7–1 1–6 7th
Columbia: 16–36–2 12–29–1
Wabash Little Giants (Indiana Collegiate Conference) (1974–1975)
1974 Wabash 5–5
1975 Wabash 3–7
Wabash Little Giants (NCAA Division III independent) (1976–1977)
1976 Wabash 7–3
1977 Wabash 11–2 L NCAA Division III Championship
Wabash: 26–17 7–7
Princeton Tigers (Ivy League) (1978–1984)
1978 Princeton 2–5–2 1–4–2 7th
1979 Princeton 5–4 5–2 T–2nd
1980 Princeton 6–4 4–3 T–3rd
1981 Princeton 5–4–1 5–1–1 3rd
1982 Princeton 3–7 3–4 T–4th
1983 Princeton 4–6 2–5 6th
1984 Princeton 4–5 3–4 5th
Princeton: 29–37–3 23–23–3
Total: 99–99–6
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. All-Divisions Coaching Records, National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2008, retrieved January 30, 2009.
  2. "Potential Panthers owner Navarro is a low-profile billionaire". April 12, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  3. WILLIAMS COLLEGE DIVISION III FOOTBALL RECORD BOOK (1973 - 2010) (PDF), Williams College, 2010.
  4. Quinn, Dick (November 21, 2000). "Dennis Kelly '68 Profile". Williams College. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
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