Bill Frack, $20M donor, dies at 79

WILLIAM “BILL” FRACK of Findlay, left, was honored during halftime of a Bowling Green State University men’s basketball game in 2011, after Frack announced plans to give $10 million to the men’s basketball program. Frack, who died Wednesday, later increased the size of that gift, and also gave millions to fight homelessness and domestic violence in Hancock County. To his right is Louis Orr, BGSU basketball coach at the time. (Photo courtesy of BGSU)

WILLIAM “BILL” FRACK of Findlay, left, was honored during halftime of a Bowling Green State University men’s basketball game in 2011, after Frack announced plans to give $10 million to the men’s basketball program. Frack, who died Wednesday, later increased the size of that gift, and also gave millions to fight homelessness and domestic violence in Hancock County. To his right is Louis Orr, BGSU basketball coach at the time. (Photo courtesy of BGSU)

Bill Frack, a Findlay man who accumulated millions of dollars through investments and gave it away to help others, died Wednesday 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 in Hancock County.

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

After the Hancock County portion grows to a permanently sustainable level, probably in about five years, organizations will be invited to submit proposals to address the social issues, Kreuchauf said.

Frack attended BGSU, but said he did not graduate there because “I wasn’t mature enough.” Instead, the 1953 Findlay High School graduate got his teaching degree from Findlay College in 1963.

He taught government, political science and English in Hardin County. He also served in the Army.

“But I never got Bowling Green out of my system,” Frack said.

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.

In 2008, Frack provided one of the “leadership gifts” to help start construction of the new Stroh Center. The basketball court is named after him.

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

Frack said he made his money by investing in “stocks and bonds and CDs, all kinds of investments.”
He considered himself a “buy and hold” type of investor.

“You have made history,” BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey said at the April news conference.
“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 a new men’s basketball coach, Chris Jans from Wichita State University.

Frack had no immediate family. Funeral arrangements were not disclosed Wednesday.

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