Vol family mourns loss of football great

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Frank Kolinsky, a tackle on the 1955-57 Tennessee football teams, died suddenly Monday morning at St. Mary’s Hospital in Knoxville.

A native of McKees-Rocks, Pa, Kolinsky signed a football scholarship in 1953 without ever seeing the campus. His main drive was to get his bachelor’s degree, which he did in the College of Education.

A three-year letterman, Kolinsky was the starting right tackle on the 1957 squad that defeated Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl. Kolinsky also saw considerable action as a member of the 1956 SEC Championship team that finished 10-1 and was ranked second in the final Associated Press poll.

Drafted in 1958 by the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers in the 22nd round with the 329th overall pick, Kolinsky instead coached high school football for two years at Lebanon in Middle Tennessee. He then began a career in industrial sales, working nearly 17 years for the General Telephone & Electronics Corp. (GTE).

For the last 30 years, while serving as executive director of the E.M. Jellinek Center in Knoxville, Kolinsky devoted a large portion of his life to helping others with substance abuse problems. An active community leader, Kolinsky was given a 2001 service award by the UT Lettermen’s T-Club.

Kolinsky maintained a residence in Knoxville but took great pride and spent considerable time on his farm near Lebanon.

Funeral mass is scheduled for Friday at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 414 W. Vine Ave., Knoxville, beginning at 2 p.m.

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