Allen “Al” Frame Born: July 9, 1934 (Letts, IA)
Graduated: Wichita East High School, 1952; University of Kansas, 1956; University of Kansas, 1962 (J.D.)
You can say this about many previous inductees in the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, but Allen “Al” Frame is the consummate leader. Of course, being at the front on the track or cross country course is what lands Frame in the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame today, but those same qualities have been reflected off the field of competition as well that help to show the man behind his legendary athletic performances.
Even before Frame stepped foot on campus at the University of Kansas, he was already separating himself from his peers. In athletics, Frame was a member of two state championship track teams at Wichita East under coach Fritz Snodgrass in 1950 and 1952. He was also the 1951 individual cross country champion. In the classroom, Frame made his mark by earning a Summerfield Scholarship to the University of Kansas, which is only awarded to ten students throughout the state of Kansas.
At KU, Frame came under the athletic tutelage of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Bill Easton and starred on both the track team and cross country squad. As part of both teams, Frame was a part of one of the greatest eras of KU athletics and he was a teammate of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductees Wes Santee, Al Oerter, and Bill Nieder.
Frame achieved legendary status with so many accomplishments over his KU career, let’s break it down by sport starting with track. Starting in 1954, Frame claimed six individual conference championships on the track by winning the indoor two-mile in 1954, indoor mile in 1955, indoor 880 yard and mile in 1956, and the outdoor mile and two-mile in 1955. In 1955, Frame finished third in the outdoor two-mile run at the national championships to earn All-America honors. He also helped his teams claim three indoor conference championships and three outdoor conference championships in 1954, 1955, and 1956.
Frame helped the Jayhawks claim conference cross country titles in both 1952 and 1953 and was part of the 1953 KU cross country national championship team, but 1954 was his individual breakout season. After helping the Jayhawks again claim the conference title, Frame stunned onlookers at the national cross country meet by finishing the four-mile course in 19:54.2 to claim the national championship and earned All-America honors. It was the fourth fastest time ever recorded up to that point in history.
Frame followed up that performance in 1955 by finishing fifth at the national championships to earn his All-America honors once again. He also claimed his second individual conference cross country title going back-to-back in 1954 and 1955.
In total, Frame helped the Jayhawks claim four cross country conference titles and six indoor and outdoor conference championships. His teams never lost a conference meet while Frame was at KU.
Certainly, Frame had a great athletic career. However, there is more to the man than just his athletic exploits. In 1956, Frame was voted the KU Senior Class President. Frame finished his academic career in the top five of his graduating class at KU. Following graduation and two years in the United States Army, Frame returned to KU to get his law degree and he was awarded the Woodrow Wilson graduate scholarship.
Frame was inducted to the KU Booth Athletics Hall of Fame and was inducted to the Wichita East High School Hall of Fame in 2009.
It’s easy to see why Frame lands himself in the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. His accomplishments on the field of competition are many and are impressive. However, Frame was so much more than his accomplishments in athletics. He was a consummate leader in everything he did and understanding that, it becomes even easier to see why Frame is a Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee.