Frank Kennon inducted into the Shawnee Education Foundation’s Hall of Fame
Friday, June 4, 2010
Frank Lee Kennon will be inducted into the Shawnee Education Foundation's Hall Of Fame at 7 pm on February 4, 2010. The Reception and Banquet will be held at the Geiger Center on the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma. The first inductee was Honorable Robert Henry of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals now President of OKC University. Other inductees include Bill Ford, President of Shawnee Milling Company, Dr. Tony Thomas, long time public school activist, Dr. Larry Dinkins, Missionary to a leper colony and teacher at the University of Thailand, Glenn McLaughlin, philanthropist, Haylor Fisher Jr, community activist, William David Brown, music educator in Louisville, KY, Kimberly Vogt Fisher, Research Scientist for laryngeal airway diseases, Debbie Hopkins Blue, Sr. VP at OBU, and Robert Washington, leader in Native American Education. The Foundation was formed 10 years ago to benefit local teachers and fund creative teaching projects for the enrichment of learning experiences of school children in the Shawnee area. Grants of over $200,000.00 have been donated to the Foundation since that time. The Induction to the Hall of Fame will be held during the banquet on February 4. Frank Kennon was born and raised in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He attended Washington Elementary School and Shawnee High School. He joined the Navy at age 17 and spent 2-years in the South Pacific during WW II .After the War was over he returned to play football and complete high school in Fall of 1948. The GI Bill and a football scholarship provided the opportunity for Frank to attend college, a feat which had seemed insurmountable when he was growing up at Washington School. Frank was an overachiever, playing football at 140 lbs as the "smallest college lineman in the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference" and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in 1950, while spending only 3 years at East Central State College. Later in 1969, Frank graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master's Degree from Central State University, Edmond, OK. His distinguished coaching career spanned 35 years at Tuttle, Wellston, Oilton, Blackwell, and Woodward where he worked to rebuild each school's athletic programs. He returned to Shawnee in 1964 to coach, teach and serve as Athletic Director and when he resigned in 1971 he was honored with a plaque that stated " To the Man who brought football back to Shawnee". Also that year the Shawnee Caldron recognized the pride that Coach Kennon had restored to the SHS student body and dedicated the yearbook to him. That same year Frank's good friend had a heart attack and needed help in the homebuilding business so Frank resigned from coaching to build 180 condos, apartments and houses in Shawnee during the next two years. He then returned to teach in Meeker to help them start their football program and continued on to coach at Drumright, Ada, Gallup, New Mexico and Carrollton TX. Upon retirement from the education field he continued to help the community of Shawnee by serving the next 7 years as Director of Carter Hall, Pottawatomie' County's Juvenile Detention Center. Frank Kennon was a charter member of the National High School Coaches Association and originator of their Hall of Fame; the founder and first chairman of the Oklahoma Coaches' Hall of Fame and the originator of the Shawnee Football Hall of Fame. He was the first President of the Letterman' Club at East Central University; coordinator of the All State Games for the Oklahoma Coaches' Association. He was head coach of the South for the Oklahoma All State Games in1965 and head coach of the Oklahoma vs.Texas Oil Bowl Game in 1966. He was honored as the Daily Oklahoman Coach of the Week on many occasions, also honored as the Oklahoma Pepsi Cola Coach of the Year and received the National High School Coaches Distinguished Service Award. Coach Frank Kennon sponsored the first Fellowship of Christian Athletes "huddle group" for Shawnee High School in 1966 (which was only the 37th group chartered in the nation). Frank is a member of The National High School Coaches' Hall of Fame, Oklahoma Coaches' Hall of Fame, Shawnee High School Football Hall of Fame, East Central University Hall of Fame, a Jim Thorpe Award's Committee voting member, Historian of the Oklahoma Coaches Association and a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Shawnee. Frank and his wife Ruth have been married 56 years. Their family consists of four children Tawana, Valerie, Sharlyn, Doug and his wife Angie and son Ryan, Grandson Tim Murphy and wife Amy, great grandchildren Erin and Sean Murphy, Terre Haute, Indiana and grandaughter Laura Murphy, Hollywood, CA.