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Frank "Frenchy' Radella

Football ∙ Midland

Frank Radella had an All-Star career as the center and Captain of the University of Wyoming football team. He forged his leadership skills in high school serving as senior Co-Captain of both the Midland Leopards’ football and basketball teams.

Frank was born and raised in Midland, where he was a three year starter in football and a two year starter in basketball. He graduated in 1951.

The sport in which Frank excelled most was football. He played center in the Tennessee-style single wing offense and linebacker on defense. He was twice named All-Beaver County and was First Team All-WPIAL in his senior year. This was before two platoon football and the players on the field actually called the plays. Frank also played all 60 minutes in the annual East-West Beaver County Classic.

In 1951, the T-formation was rapidly becoming the offense of choice with college teams. Some die-hard major colleges continued to run the single wing. Several of these schools; Clemson, Arkansas, Brown, Fresno State and Wyoming, recruited Frank. Clemson and Wyoming had played in and won the Orange and Gator Bowls, respectively, that year and, at that time, there were only eight Bowl games total, compared to over three dozen today.

Frank accepted a full scholarship to the University of Wyoming and made the travelling squad as a 180 pound freshman. As a member of the varsity, he started for the Cowboys at center for the following three seasons. In 1954, as a 6’1” 200 pound senior, he was elected the ‘Pokes’ Team Captain. He was selected to the Skyline 8 Conference All-Star team as a center and played in the Salad Bowl in Tempe, Arizona on New Year’s Day 1955.

Following his senior year, and with only 12 teams in the NFL, Frank received letters of interest from the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins. He was drafted by the Redskins, but made the decision to continue his schooling and acquire his degree, instead of reporting to Redskin Camp.

Frank majored in Geology and earned his Bachelor of Science degree. He was hired by the Carter Oil Company, which later became part of EXXON. He was employed as a Petroleum Geologist exploring for oil in the Williston Basin of Montana and North Dakota. After five years with Carter Oil, he struck out on his own as an Independent Consulting Geologist. Frank explored for oil and gas in the Northern Rockies, Canada and Alaska. He was successful in helping to discover and develop many new oil and gas fields. After a distinguished, exciting, and fulfilling 48-year career, he retired in 2004.

Frank balanced working in the oil fields with involvement with his community. He was active with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. He participated in the Crusillo, Marriage and Engaged Encounter movements within the Catholic Church. He was an officer with the Montana Geologic Society, for which he gave talks and published papers.

Frank was married to his marvelous bride, Pat, for 50 years before losing her to illness in 2010. Pat and Frank are the proud parents of four loving children; Denise, Karen, Michele, and Frank II. They have 4 grandchildren. Frank resides in Billings, Montana.