Frank "Bruiser" Kinard is considered to be one of the greatest players in Ole Miss and college football history. He lettered for the Rebels from 1935-37 and served as co-captain of the 1937 squad.
His nickname came from a teammate in high school. After flattening him with a vicious block, the fallen teammate finally rose to his feet and said, "You're a real bruiser."
While playing tackle, the Rebels compiled a record of 18-13-3 including a 9-3 record in 1936, which featured the school's first appearance in a bowl game (Orange Bowl).
Kinard was known for his durability and energy. He once played 562 consecutive minutes, and went on to log 708 of 720 minutes during a season. Showing his diversity, he played guard on the Rebels basketball team, as well as ran track and threw the shot put.
His head coach at Ole Miss, Ed Walker, called him, "The best lineman to ever have played the game."
He was an All-American and All-SEC pick in 1936 and 1937, was the school's first All-American and was voted to the Southern Living South's Greatest Players Team.
Kinard was inducted into the Ole Miss Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986. He is a charter member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, having been inducted in the inaugural class in 1961.
Kinard was a five-time All-Pro in his nine years of professional football. He became the first Ole Miss player to become a star in the pros with both the NFL and the All-America Football Conference. Playing for Brooklyn during the war, Kinard worked at the shipyards during the week, and played football on the weekends.
He was named to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1971. When asked what we wanted inscribed on his Hall of Fame ring, he said, "Better make it Bruiser. If it read Frank, nobody would know it was mine."
After his playing career, he joined Coach Johnny Vaught's coaching staff at Ole Miss and served as an offensive line coach from 1948-70. When Vaught suffered a heart attack, he became interim head coach. In an interesting twist to the coaching situation, Kinard's brother, Billy, took over for Vaught as head coach in 1971. The brothers reached the high point of their coaching days in The Grove as they led the Rebs to a 10-2 record. After being let go in 1973, Kinard replaced Tad Smith as Ole Miss athletic director.
Kinard is a member of the Ole Miss Team of the Century (1893-1992). The men's athletic dormitory was renamed Kinard Hall in 1986.
We have named Frank Kinard to our SEC All-Time All-Star Football Team. You can also read more about the tremendous Ole Miss Rebels Football History. Finally, here's our current Ole Miss Rebels Football page.
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