There’s always a story behind a monument, such as the one erected at Carson High School’s track-football complex dedicated to Jim Frank.
To keep the memory of the beloved track and distance coach alive, the school honored him with a refurbished monument at the complex named after him Thursday morning, thanks to the Carson City Host Lions Club.
“He loved Carson sports,” said Host Lions member Kevin Baily. “It’s also our way of giving back to the community and schools.”
The Lions Club is known to bring a quality of life to the local community since 1932. It hosts fundraisers for organizations and supports youth opportunities. With CHS, it offers two scholarships every year.
Although Frank wasn’t directly associated with the Host Lions Club, he was heavily involved with Nevada’s youth at schools and in the community. He also was a science teacher at Carson Junior High and CHS.
Frank died at the age of 40 in June 1987, but the club didn’t install the original monument until the 1990s.
As the years passed, the monument became weathered and disintegrated. The Host Lions Club sandblasted the monument to a darker hue of blue, with contributions made possible by CHS Athletic Director Bob Bateman, who worked with Frank.
“We don’t know much about him but we were interested in revitalizing this part of history,” said Host Lions Club President Tim Kniffen. “Our membership also decreased, so refurbishing treasures like the Frank monument will encourage the community to get involved while educating the public about a local figure.”
Kevin Reid is a 1983 CHS graduate. He participated in track and field all four years as a sprinter and hurdler.
Although Frank wasn’t his main coach, Reid said he remembers Frank as a supportive person, even outside of the sport.
Reid has been coaching track and field at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif., for the last 28 years. He said one of his goals is to represent Frank’s character within his team.
“It’s not only about track and field,” he said. “It’s about connecting with the students and athletes on a daily basis.”
The Carson High football team is the first team to take a photo with the new monument. Although the photo depicts a football team surrounding the memory of a track and cross country coach, it’s important to preserve and educate the history of Frank to all students, Reid said.
“The current students and athletes need to know why this piece of history is important,” he said. “To refurbish it also shows how far along the program has come and the success taken place in the past. It’s something for students and faculty to enjoy.”
During the summers, Frank worked for the Bureau of Land Management with the Youth Conservation Corps. He organized numerous local runs, such as the Jackrabbit Running Club.
He was one of the original partners in the local Fleet Feet Athletic Store and served in the Nevada National Guard, Hawthorne Unit. He was honorably discharged in 1974. He also was a member of B.P.O.E in Tonopah.
The monument isn’t his only source of honor; Frank was named Coach of the Year in cross country in 1986 and former Governor Richard Bryan declared March 27, 1987 as Jim Frank Day.