John Frank (American football)

John Frank (American football)

John Frank (American football)
Tight End
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-04-17) April 17, 1962
Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Career information
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 1984 / Round: 2 / Pick: 56
Debuted in 1984
Last played in 1988
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Stats at

John E. Frank (born April 17, 1962) is a hair restoration surgeon and was an American football player who played tight end in the NFL from 1984 to 1988 and earned two Super Bowl rings.


  • Early years 1
  • Education - College 2
  • Medical School 3
  • NFL career 4
  • Olympic career 5
  • After the NFL 6
  • Hall of Fame 7
  • See also 8
  • External links 9
  • References 10

Early years

John E. Frank was born April 17, 1962 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Alan Frank and Barbara Sheck Frank. He attended Hoover Elementary School in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Jefferson Junior High School and Mt. Lebanon High School in suburban Pittsburgh, graduating in 1980.

He was an All-State Tight End in high school but because of his strong interest in science and medicine, he turned down offers to attend and play college football at the University of Southern California, Yale University and the University of Virginia in order to enroll in The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. David Schuller, chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology in the medical school at Ohio State, helped convince Frank that he could be successful both academically and athletically.

Education - College

Prior to enrolling at The Ohio State University, he worked in Dr Thomas Starzl’s canine surgical laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. There, they were developing the optimum cryopreservative solutions for Liver Transplantation.

At Ohio State, he played college football and became a two time Academic All American, where he set a school record for receptions by a tight end (121) in 1982 and 1983.

With David Schuller at Ohio State, he co-authored several research papers investigating the best treatments for pediatric croup and the work was published in the Laryngoscope.[1]

Athletically at Ohio State, John Frank was the starting tight end from 1981-1983 and caught more passes than any other tight end in the history of the school. He was honored as a two time Academic All-American, became the team’s most valuable player and was selected as a member of the All Century Ohio State Football Team and Ohio State’s Varsity Hall of Fame.[2]

While finishing at Ohio State, he was invited to attend the first round of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis in 1984, however declined in order to continue studying for his final exams. In June 1984 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Ohio State.

Medical School

He had already been accepted into several medical schools, but decided to enroll at The Ohio State University College of Medicine because they had an independent study program which allowed flexibility to continue playing in the NFL while completing the first year of medical school. They also offered a deferred enrollment into medical school, but Dr. Frank chose to attend medical school during his first NFL off season.

During medical school, he continued researching diseases of the head and neck and microsvascular surgery under the direction of Dr. Michael Sullivan at Ohio State as well as the Gait Analysis laboratory.

NFL career

He was selected in the second round of the 1984 National Football League draft by the San Francisco 49ers. During his first season, he played as a reserve Tight end behind Russ Francis, and as a specialist while the team went 18-1 as they defeated the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX. He had injured his left elbow during the NFC Championship victory of the Chicago Bears and therefore saw limited time in Super Bowl XIX.

During his five-year career, he caught 65 passes for 662 yards and became the starting tight end during his fourth and fifth season.[3] In Super Bowl XXIII he caught two passes, including a key pass thrown by Joe Montana during the winning touchdown drive.[4]

Following the game and during what was considered to be the height of his professional football career, he announced his retirement to devote himself full-time to medical school. The vacated tight end position was filled by future All-Pro tight end Brent Jones in 1989. The Forty Niners also drafted Wesley Walls in the second round of the 1989 draft.

Olympic career

After leaving the NFL, at the age of forty, along with Aaron Zeff of San Francisco, John co-founded the Israeli Bobsled Team.[5] in 2002. The team placed in the Bobsleigh America’s Cup, World Cup and World Championship competitions in Innsbruck (Igls), Austria and Konigssee, Germany however they but missed the cut for the XX Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

After the NFL

After retiring from football, Frank earned his M.D. from Ohio State in 1992. He is an Otolaryngologist, board-certified by the American Academy of Otolaryngology and the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. In 2009 he became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and in 2010, he became an Assistant Professor of Clinical Otolarygology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeon. He has performed over 2000 hair transplant procedures in Northern California and New York City since 1998 and in 2006 he opened Anapelli Hair Clinic in New York City, specializing in surgical hair transplantation as well as Biocapillation.[6][7]

John Frank married Edith Villarreal from Los Angeles, California, on April 27, 2007 at a small wedding held at the Fours Seasons Hotel in Chicago. They have three children, Samuel (9-1-2008), Elianna (10-19,2010), and Julia (2013) They currently reside in Columbus, Ohio.

Hall of Fame

In 1998, Frank was inducted into the Ohio State Athletic Hall of Fame.

Frank, who is Jewish, was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.[8]

See also

External links

  • NFL statistics
  • Anapelli Hair Clinic | A hair transplant & restoration practice in New York City
  • (August 23, 2002)Jewish News Weekly of Northern CaliforniaJoe Eskenazi, "John Frank, ex-49er turned surgeon, has a mom to thank",
  • "From Football To Bobsledding?", KGO-TV (July 1, 2003) at the Wayback Machine (archived November 8, 2004)
  • Israeli Bobsled Team
  • National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame bio at the Wayback Machine (archived August 20, 2006)
  • Ohio State Alumni Magazine 100th Anniversary All-Alumni Team


  1. ^ "How i do it: Head and neck and plastic surgery: Maxillary removal and reinsertion for improved access to anterior cranial base tumors.". February 1992. 
  2. ^ "The Top 50 Ohio State Football Players in Buckeye History". May 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ "NFL Players John Frank.". 
  4. ^ "The 1989 Super Bowl XXIII & One of the Longest Drives in NFL History.". 
  5. ^ "Israeli Bobsled Team". Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Anapelli Hair Transplant Clinic". Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ "What Is Biocapillation?". Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  8. ^
Preceded by
Tim Spencer
Ohio State Buckeyes
Football Season MVP

Succeeded by
Keith Byars
Preceded by
Bruce Baumgartner
John Elway
Richard J. Giusto
Charles F. Kiraly
David R. Rimington
NCAA Top Five Award
Class of 1984
John E. Frank
Beth Heiden
Terrell L. Hoage
Stefan G. Humphries
Steve Young
Succeeded by
Gregg Carr
Tracy Caulkins
Doug Flutie
Mark J. Traynowicz
Susan E. Walsh