Franklin "Frankie" Allen, was born in Charlottesville, VA, the youngest of three children. He was an All-State standout at Lane High School in Charlottesville where he led his team to a 40-8 record in his final two seasons, advancing to back-to-back state semifinal appearances.
In 1967, Frankie became the first African American student-athlete to attend Roanoke College. Frankie played a significant role in Roanoke’s rise to the top of NCAA Division II Basketball. He became the first player in Roanoke College history to have his jersey retired. He holds 18 individual marks in the Maroon records book and was named Virginia College Division Player of the Year three years in a row (1969-71). He earned four First-Team All-Mason Dixon Conference selections, Mason Dixon Conference Player of the Year in 1970-71, NCAA College Division All-American honors (1969-71), and many other honors during his stay in Salem.
Over his four seasons at Roanoke College, he averaged 24 points per game and 15.2 rebounds per game. Frankie was the first individual to ever be named to the AP Virginia All-State team all four years. Overall, Roanoke compiled an 82 win, 34 loss record during Allen’s career including two Mason-Dixon Conference Championships and two NCAA Tournament berths. In his senior season, Allen became the all-time leader in points (2,780) and rebounds (1,758) at all NCAA levels in Virginia. This 1971 graduate of Roanoke College, is considered to be one of the most prolific college basketball players in Virginia Intercollegiate Basketball History.
After college, Frankie became a high school coach at Albemarle High School and in three years won two district championships and was named Central Virginia Coach of the Year. He followed his college coach, Charlie Moir, to Virginia Tech in 1976 and spent all 11 seasons as his top assistant. In 1987, Frankie took over the reins as head coach of the Hokies and remained there until 1991. In 1988, Allen earned Metro Conference, Virginia Sportswriters, and National Rookie Coach of the Year awards at Virginia Tech.
He went on to become head coach at Tennessee State from 1991 until 2000, earning national recognition and winning seasons. From 2000-2005, Frankie coached at Howard University where he dramatically improved the program. His final coaching stop was at the University of Maryland at Eastern Shore, where he coached the Hawks for six seasons.
Frankie is a 32-year member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), serving on various committees and the NABC Regional Advisory Board. He also is a member of the Black Coaches Association. Allen has served as a coach at the collegiate level for 32 years, 18 of which were spent as a Head Coach.
For his alma mater, Frankie’s infamous speech coined the “Roanoke Way” as a reminder of all that binds Maroons together. He is a member of the Roanoke College Athletic Hall of Fame, a long-time supporter of the Maroon Club, and a member of the Society of 1842.