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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Frank

Ole Miss’ first All-American: Bruiser Kinard

When we have a football weekend in Oxford and the University of Mississippi, I usually write about the team we are playing. We do not have much of a history with our opponent this weekend so I have decided to write about the first of many All-Americans who have played for Ole Miss. He was a man who never strayed far from Ole Miss after he made his way to Oxford in the 1930s. When you think of Ole Miss football, Bruiser Kinard is at the forefront of players and coaches who come to mind.

Forty-four years after Ole Miss fielded its first football team, we would have our first All-American. Frank Manning Kinard had first been invited to play college football for the University of Alabama. He had been an outstanding high school player at Rolling Fork High School and had made the All-Southern high school team as a tackle. Coach Frank Thomas had Kinard come to Alabama at the start of his freshman year in 1934.

Kinard’s stay at Alabama would be short lived. When he got to the campus, the coach found out Kinard had married in his senior year of high school. Coach Thomas said to Kinard, “I sure do appreciate your coming over here but we have two married players now and they haven’t panned out.” He left Alabama and Martin Miller of Meridian and Clyde Hester of Jackson collaborated to get the young married athlete into Ole Miss. Webb Burke, an assistant coach, rented part of his house to Kinard and his wife. This would be the beginning of a life-long marriage of Ole Miss and Frank Manning Kinard. (November 5, 2010, Page 2B)

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