1910 – 2001
Inducted – 1996
A member of one of Kansas’ great athletic families, Lowell Alexander Francis was one of the most decorated track and field coaches in the country during his 34 years as the cross country and track and field coach at Fort Hays State (KS) University. His teams won 14 conference championships, finished second another 14 times and, during one 14-year stretch, won 33 consecutive dual meets in track and field. FHSU cross country teams won four NAIA national championships and finished as the runner-up another four times under Francis. He was an assistant coach on the 1967 United States Pan-American team and coached the distance runners on the 1968 U.S. Olympic team. Francis was the first president of the NAIA Track and Field Coaches Association and helped coach 139 All–Americans at Fort Hays State. The track facility at Lewis Field in Hays was named after Francis in 1993. He was inducted into the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame in 1963 and the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame in 1977. His brothers, Sam and Vike, were standout Oberlin H.S. athletes and football players for the University of Nebraska. Sam is a fellow inductee in the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. Born January 16, 1910 – Dunbar, Nebraska. Graduated Oberlin (KS) H.S., 1931; Fort Hays State University, 1935; M.S. – University of Missouri at Columbia, 1941. Died September 25, 2001.