Every season since his senior year at SLUH (save just one while away at college), Frank Pawloski '63 has strolled the sidelines of football games in support of the Jr. Bills, pen and stat sheet in hand, tabulating every tackle and touchdown. If there’s a new record, he makes note. In honor of his sacrifice and dedication to SLUH sports for more than 50 years – as a statistician and ‘man for others’ – Pawloski has been recognized with the Distinguished Service Award by the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA).
Pawlowksi knows – and loves – sports. His career is highlighted by 23 years at KMOX Radio as executive sports producer. In 1986, he was honored with the 12th Man Club Award from the U.S. Military Academy football recruiting office for his many contributions to the Army football program.
In addition to partnering with the managers to record statistics for the football team, Pawloski produces a game program for home football, soccer and basketball games – an activity he started with the football program in 1976; works with each varsity coach to produce summaries of each team’s season for the yearbook; ensures local media outlets have updated, accurate stats for SLUH teams and athletes; and serves as a liaison with alumni and the athletic program.
Yet it’s his selfless spirit that sets him apart. A recipient of the Rev. John J. Divine, S.J. Alumni Service Award for outstanding loyalty and devotion to SLUH, Pawloski goes above and beyond in his role as sports guru and record-keeper.
President David Laughlin recounts one instance that typifies Pawloski’s dedication and spirit:
“In 2009, we played our final basketball game in Backer Gymnasium, which was renovated to what is now our Si Commons. We invited all former basketball players to the game and a reception that followed. Frank Pawloski was our greeter to welcome those alumni back, get them a nametag and directions. But, typical Frank, that was too simple. He brought programs and statistics, reminded people of records and recalled old coaches.
“One by one, alumni came to the game from all over the country. When Frank greeted them, he didn’t just say ‘hello’ or ‘welcome.’ He would say things like, ‘John, welcome back. I remember that game against (School X) when you hit the running jumper from the short corner with 17 seconds to go and put us up one to win the game. What a great memory. Oh, here’s your name tag.’
“It wasn’t one or two men he greeted this way. It felt like one or two were the exception where he did not have a specific memory of their time on that court. The amazement in their eyes that someone recalled a specific moment from their life sums up why Frank is such a valued member of our community. He cares deeply about St. Louis U. High. He cares about how our teams do and that they are supported. But above all, Frank takes a genuine interest in people and honors them with his service.”
According to SLUH Athletic Director Chris Muskopf '91, “Frank is quiet and unassuming in everything he does. He thanks us for our time and for the opportunity to serve this community, yet it’s we who are grateful for his consistent, generous service.
“One of the goals of the educators at SLUH is to produce graduates who comprehend and execute the calling to be ‘men for others.’ It is clear that a group of educators from 1959-1963 achieved that goal in relation to Frank Pawloski.”
Given SLUH’s tradition and achievement in athletics for 200 years, we asked Pawloski: what are the top 10 most notable events and/or people? It’s a tough assignment, particularly when you note there’s not enough room to include sports like riflery, which earned six national championships, or successes and records on the individual level.
PAWLOSKI’S TOP 10 MOST NOTABLE EVENTS / PEOPLE IN SLUH SPORTS HISTORY
Pawloski begins his list in a spirit of gratitude:
- The Jesuits, administration, faculty, coaches, students, players, alumni, friends and fans for their tremendous support of St. Louis U. High athletics through the years
- BASKETBALL: 1958 Undefeated (28-0) STATE CHAMPIONS
- FOOTBALL: 1970 STATE CHAMPIONS
- SOCCER: 1973, Jr. Bills capture their first STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in soccer by defeating Rosary, 2-1 in seven overtimes
- BASEBALL: Jr. Bills have won 38 DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIPS, the most District Titles in Missouri
- ICE HOCKEY: 2013 STATE CHAMPIONS
- VOLLEYBALL: 8 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- WATER POLO: 19 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- RACQUETBALL: 11 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, 18 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- TRACK & FIELD/ CROSS COUNTRY: 7 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS between the two programs