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Bill Frack, Findlay philanthropist and BGSU basketball fan, dies at 79

Bill Frack, a Findlay man who accumulated millions of dollars through investments and gave it away to help others, died today at The Heritage nursing home. He was 79.

Kathy Kreuchauf, president of the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation, confirmed his death.

“He had a kind heart and will be missed by those of us who had the privilege of knowing him,” she said.

Frack announced on April 9 that he would leave about $20 million to the foundation, three-quarters of which will go to the Bowling Green State University men’s basketball program. The rest will be used to fight homelessness and domestic violence.

Frack, who was obviously struggling with cancer at the news conference, insisted on announcing his gift because the donation “does my heart good.”

Kreuchauf said after that fund grows to a permanently sustainable level, probably in about five years, organizations will be invited to submit proposals to address the social issues.

Although not a BGSU graduate, Frack followed BGSU basketball for more than six decades. His father first brought him to watch the Falcons play in 1948 in the old Men’s Gym.

He has remained a devoted fan, and in 2008 provided one of the “leadership gifts” to help start construction of the new Stroh Center.

The university’s arena and convocation center opened in 2011. At the time, Frack announced his estate would make a $10 million donation.

Frack has said he made his money by investing.

“You have made history,” said BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey. “Bowling Green State University men’s basketball will return to the glory days, and you will have been the game-changer.”

The $20 million gift is one of the largest ever given to the Community Foundation, and the university’s share is the single largest private gift in BGSU history. It is also the largest single gift to a Mid-American Conference basketball program.

It is estimated that the endowment will generate about $675,000 a year for men’s basketball in perpetuity.

In March, Frack also contributed about $700,000 to the university. That money allowed it to offer a more competitive compensation package to attract new men’s basketball coach Chris Jans from Wichita State University.

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