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June 13 – Frank Minnifield, Executive Director of the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame and Kay Collier McLaughlin

Posted on Jun 10, 2024

LEXINGTON, KY – The Rotary Club of Lexington will hold its weekly meeting on Thursday, June 13, at The Mane on Main, Chase Bank building on Main St. The guest speakers will be Frank Minnifield, Executive Director of the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF) and Kay Collier McLaughlin, the daughter of the late University of Kentucky and Cleveland Browns head football coach Blanton Collier, Board Chair of the HOF.

This meeting will also be on Zoom. For the Zoom link please email, [email protected].

If you would like to have lunch, please contact [email protected] to reserve your meal.

Lexington Rotarians will hear from Frank Minnifield, Executive Director of the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF) and Kay Collier McLaughlin, the daughter of the late University of Kentucky and Cleveland Browns head football coach Blanton Collier, Board Chair of the HOF. Since its beginnings in 2003, the HOF has recognized Kentuckians – whether by birth, education, vocation or residency, who have made meaningful contributions to professional football.

Frank overcame numerous challenges to become one of the NFL’s top defensive backs during his nine-year career with the Cleveland Browns. Receiving no scholarship offers out of Henry Clay High School, Frank walked on at the University of Louisville, where he became an outstanding defensive back and return specialist, leading the nation in kickoff return yardage his junior year.

Undrafted by the NFL, Frank joined the inaugural USFL, playing two seasons before catching the attention of NFL scouts. He signed with the Cleveland Browns in 1984. From 1984 to 1992, Frank established himself as one of the league’s top defensive backs, earning All-Rookie Team honors, four consecutive Pro Bowl invitations (1986-1989), a first team All-Pro selection in 1988, and helping lead Cleveland to three AFC Championship games. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1980s. He and a teammate named the east endzone cheering section in Cleveland the “Dawg Pound,” forever becoming part of NFL lore.

After retiring, Frank founded Minnifield Enterprizes, Inc., a top purchasing agent for Toyota manufacturing plants. He was the first African American elected to the board of directors for Commerce Lexington, Chairman of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees, and serves on the board of directors for Community Trust Bank.

For Kay, her father’s coaching career was a Collier “family affair.” Kay’s deep bond with the sport included being an academic tutor for the UK football team, spending summers at the Cleveland Browns training camps, having her dad’s coaching staffs become “part of her family”, and game days.

Kay’s involvement in football extended beyond her father’s coaching days. She wrote Football’s Gentle Giant – The Blanton Collier Story.  Her interview for the book The Thin Thirty about the 1962 UK football team, lead to her involvement in a player reunion grief workshop and the formation of the Blanton Collier Sportsmanship Group, Inc., a non-profit organized to benefit the health, safety, and well-being of young athletes. A phone call from Frank Minnifield resulted in the creation of the Blanton Collier Sportsmanship Award for Integrity On and Off the Field, given annually by the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Kay’s professional achievements are vast. She holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Union Institute and University, and is an accomplished teacher, workshop leader, consultant, and published author of six books.

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