PISCATAWAY, NJ – Frank Burns, the former Scarlet Knight quarterback who ranks as the all-time winningest football coach in Rutgers history, will be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey on Oct. 5, the group has announced.
Burns, already a member of the Rutgers Football Hall of Fame as well as the New Jersey Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame, will be a part of the 11th induction class, and will be honored at halftime of the New York Giants-Miami Dolphins game at Giants Stadium.
“We are proud that New Jersey’s rich sports history includes the lasting achievements of such gifted individuals,” New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Chairman Carl Goldberg said. “The Meadowlands Sports Complex is honored to memorialize the accomplishments of these great individuals.”
Burns quarterbacked the Scarlet Knights to a 27-7 record in the postwar period (1945-48), earning honorable mention All-America honors, before playing professionally with the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns. In 1952, at the age of 23, he became the head coach at Johns Hopkins, and in 1957 he began a four-year stint at Chatham High School. Burns returned to “the Banks” in 1961 as the backfield coach, and took over the reins as head coach in 1973. During his 11-year tenure, the Scarlet Knights compiled a 78-43-1 (.643) record, including a perfect 11-0 mark in 1976.
Burns will be a part of an induction class that includes Lou Duva (boxing), Aubrey Lewis (track/football/contributor), Dick Lynch (football), Stan Mills (football), Steve Mizerak (billiards), Lonnie Wright (basketball/football/track) and George Young (football). The Hall of Fame also will honor Johnny Vander Meer, who threw baseball’s only back-to-back no-hitters in 1938.
The Sports Hall of Fame was established by the State Legislature and is a non-profit organization operated in conjunction with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The Hall of Fame honors amateur and professional athletes who have resided in New Jersey or who have made a significant connection to the Garden State. Also included is a category of contributors who were coaches, officials, members of the media, and individuals who served in administrative, promotional or other influential capacities. Since the first induction ceremony in 1993, the Sports Hall of Fame has inducted 99 individuals and 13 special events. Their plaques are on permanent display in the Continental Airlines Arena.