Frank Keaney

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Frank Keaney
Frank Keaney.jpg
Keaney from the 1943 Grist
Biographical details
Born(1886-06-05)June 5, 1886
DiedOctober 10, 1967(1967-10-10) (aged 81)
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Playing career
c. 1910Bates
c. 1910Bates
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1920–1948Rhode Island
1917–1919Everett HS (MA)
1920–1940Rhode Island
1921–1948Rhode Island
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1920–1956Rhode Island
Head coaching record
Overall401–124 (college basketball)
70–86–12 (college football)
222–113–1 (college baseball)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1960 (profile)
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Frank William "Menty" Keaney (June 5, 1886 – October 10, 1967) was an American football, basketball, and baseball coach and college athletics administrator. As a college men's basketball coach, he was known as the architect of modern "run-and-shoot" basketball and the inventor of the fast break.[1]

Keaney was a native of Boston, Massachusetts, and attended Cambridge Latin School, graduating in 1906. He graduated from Bates College, where he played several sports, in 1911.[2] He was the head football coach at Everett High School in Massachusetts from 1917 to 1919. He coached at Rhode Island State College (now the University of Rhode Island) from 1920 to 1948 and taught a style of basketball using a fast-breaking offense and a full-court defense. In his 28 years at Rhode Island, Keaney's basketball Rams won eight conference championships and had only one losing season.[3] In 1939, Keaney's Rams became the first college team to score more than 50 points per game, and in 1943 the team had an average of more than two points per minute (80.7 points per game), which led to the Rams being dubbed "The Firehouse Gang". During his tenure the URI team had four National Invitation Tournament appearances. Keaney's career record with the men's basketball team was 401–124 (.764).[3]

After retiring from coaching collegiate basketball, Keaney was offered the position of head coach of the Boston Celtics.[4] Keaney's doctor, however, refused to let him take the job.[2] He remained at URI as athletic director until 1959. The university named the Frank W. Keaney Gymnasium-Armory in his honor in 1953. Keaney was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1960.[4]


  1. ^ Klein, Maury (November 27, 1978). "Yesterday Frank Keaney invented the fast break and Rhode Island made the big time". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Karsten, James (October 8, 2014). "Top 10 Bates Athletes: #7 Frank Keaney '11". The Bates Student. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Frank Keaney Coaching Record". College Basketball at Sports Reference. Archived from the original on October 9, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Hall of Famers - Frank Keaney". Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on August 31, 2009. Retrieved November 9, 2014.

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