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BGSU basketball fan Bill Frack doubles program endowment to $20 million

After giving $10 million to the men’s basketball program in 2011, longtime fan Bill Frack announced he will double that endowment during a press conference on Wednesday.

The $20 million gift is to the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation, and will benefit the BG men’s basketball program, as well as the community in Hancock County.

The 77-year-old Frack, a Findlay native who has followed BG basketball for more than six decades, announced the increased endowment in Findlay, along with University President Mary Ellen Mazey and Katherine Kreuchauf, community foundation president.

The conference took place at The Heritage, an assisted-living center in Findlay where Frack lives.

“Bowling Green has some pretty serious problems,” Frack said, referring to dwindling attendance at the Stroh Center. “Hopefully this will help. It’ll get people away from their television sets.”

Frack said he was not feeling well, but he still was in good humor, and made several jokes during the press conference.

“I trust the people managing that money to not go to Las Vegas with it,” he said, prompting a laugh from those in attendance.

Addressing the positive effect this money will have for the future of the basketball program, President Mazey responded, “The only way we’ll go to Las Vegas is in the NCAA Final Four.”

The endowment will generate an estimated $675,000 annually for the men’s basketball program in perpetuity.

The basketball program will benefit from 75 percent of the annual distributions from the series of existing trusts. The remaining proceeds will support the Community Foundation, which benefits the area of Hancock County.

Frack has been a fan of BG basketball since his father took him to his first game in 1948. He attended the University, but graduated from Findlay College.

He wanted to give back to a program that has been important to him for 60 years.

“We all want to honor your legacy,” Mazey said, addressing Frack during the press conference. “We will always know what you’ve done for our men’s basketball team.”

The endowment was already the largest private gift in the University’s history in 2011, and now even more so. It is also the largest one-time gift ever designated to a Mid-American Conference basketball program.

In 2008, Frack also provided $2 million to start the Stroh Center.

He also helped attract the new men’s basketball head coach Chris Jans by contributing $700,000 to the coach’s compensation package.

“It made the job that much more attractive,” Jans said of his decision to take the position.

Jans referred to Frack’s “generosity” as a “difference-maker” for University athletics.

“I just think that for someone like Mr. Frack to give back to a program he loves and cares about and to give back to a community he cares about shows you a lot about the person he is,” Jans said. “It should be inspiring to all of us.”

While Jans is unsure how he and Athletic Director Chris Kingston will use the funds as of yet, he said it will help in recruitment and promotion.

“I’m certain we’ll huddle and figure out the best way to use that money moving forward,” Jans said.

Hancock County programs support the needs of homeless and victims of domestic violence. Frack’s endowment will become a field of interest fund at the Community Foundation.

This will allow local organizations to submit proposals for the fund’s use.

“We’re very proud and very honored to be working with Bill,” Kreuchauf said during the press conference. “Bill is truly an angel in our midst.”

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