A native of Flushing, New York, Frank Leo, has been at the helm of the Hays Larks for 33 seasons. Leo played at the University of Albuquerque and Fort Hays State University. During his college days he was NAIA District 10 selection. Leo began coaching when he served as an assistant coach at Fort Hays in 1972. For 43 years Leo, has continued to grow his coaching legacy.]
“I am very humbled to be inducted into the NBC Hall of Fame,” Leo said. “When great things like this happen I try to think back over the pass 33 years. I am just very humbled and very thankful to the players that i have been able to coach over the last 33 years. I am also very thankful for my family. I could not stay in this for 33 years without support from my family.”
Under Leo?s guidance the Larks have won six NBC Midwest Regional titles, and eight Jayhawk League titles. Leo has coached the Larks in 23 trips to the NBC World Series including finishing runner up in four chances. Leo, has become a fixture at the NBC World Series throughout his time in Hays with 16 top ten finishes. In 2014, the Larks finished in 3rd place highest finish for any Jayhawk League team.
Leo also taught and coached at Hays High School. During his 39 years teaching and 33 years coaching at the Hays High School the Indians found a lot of success. Under Leo, the Indians won 15 Western Athletic Conference titles and made 11 appearances in the Class 5A State Championships. Leo was also named Class 5A Coach of the Year in 1994, Kansas Coach of the Year and Region Five National Coach of the Year in 1998. Making the school a perennial power, Leo brought success and consistency, but even after retiring from teaching math at Hays in 2014. He has still stayed motivated to coach the Hays Larks.
“It is something that I enjoy and it is challenge for me,” Leo said. “At the high school level, being able to teach and make the best out of the kids is something that I enjoy. It has made me not quite ready to retie from coaching yet.”
In 2005 Leo, was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. Leo not only managed his team to success, but his players have also found success when they left Hays. With Leo?s guidance, players like Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, Arron Crow, Nolan Reimold and Jason Frasor have found greatness in the Major Leagues.