Philadelphia High School Football
A Look at
Tom Mullineaux's 16-Year
Coaching Career at Frankford High
page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recaps of wins in
games and the names of All-Public/All-City honorees during Coach Mullineaux's 16 seasons.
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Tom Mullineaux coached Frankford High's football team for 16 seasons (1988-2003), winning 145 games and four Public League championships. He won his first crown in wicked mud in 1996 Here is that story . . .
By Ted Silary
driving rainstorm can do more than turn a football field into a mud pit. It
also can wash away the burden felt by coaches at Frankford High.
dark day, Mullineaux had flashed back to the '91 final, when his best
rusher, Damien Adams, was injured and
unavailable and the Pioneers were spanked by Washington, 34-0. And to the '84 semifinals, when he was an assistant at West
Philadelphia. Franchise rusher Reggie Barnes sprinted for a 75-yard touchdown on the game's third play, then injured his thigh.
West lost to Frankford, 42-14.
"I felt real bad after last year's championship game,'' Mullineaux said. "You wonder, `Am I snakebit?' I wasn't sure we'd be
able to get it together again. Then I came around. 'We have some good skills kids back. We have to find some linemen. ' This
is a good lesson for the kids. If you hang in there, good things happen sometimes.''
Mullineaux mentioned how he had read in a neighborhood paper about the fan abuse heaped on Archbishop Ryan coach Glen
Galeone during a Thanksgiving loss to Washington.
All Galeone did from 1990 to '94 was coach the Raiders to four titles and a 45-0-2 mark against Catholic League opposition.
"Crazy,'' Mullineaux said. "The guy wins four championships and now he's playing with young kids, and he's dumb? If people
are going to yell at a coach like that, they can say whatever they want about me. I'll take it as a compliment.
"People don't know what goes on. Making the kids behave. Getting them into school. Making them go to class. The easiest
thing is getting on the field and calling plays. There are 6 million other things that most people don't have a clue about."
In this one, somehow, Frankford churned out 306 yards of total offense. Gaskins provided a huge boost by trodding 57 yards
for a first-quarter touchdown. Dobbins, meanwhile, had nonstop difficulty with snaps and handoffs.
"It was like we were on ice,'' coach Doug Macauley said.
"For us,'' Mullineaux said, "it was almost like the field was dry. We pretty much ran our normal offense. It amazed me.''
Said Gaskins: "I've played on mud quite a few times, from the Frankford Boys Club on up. Never been a problem. I was
looking forward to sloshing around.''
He also was looking forward to easing the pain felt by Mullineaux and, to various degrees, all the players.
"If you lose at Frankford, you hear about it,'' Gaskins said. "But we don't go out to impress the fans. We go out to win. We
did this for coach Mullineaux and for ourselves.
"I knew coach Mullineaux wanted his one bad. I could tell by the look in his eyes.''
This story was written
in November 1997 after Frankford roared past North Catholic
for one of Tom's 11 wins (16 chances) in the wonderful Thanksgiving series . . .
By Ted Silary
Think of the football positions that would be a good fit for a guy nicknamed ``Pitter'' - as in the pitter-patter of little feet.
Wideout should quickly come to mind. And then maybe slotback and defensive back and . . . now you're stuck.
We give you Herbert "Pitter'' Sample, of Frankford High, who is listed at 5-8, 155 pounds in the program.
Take off 2 inches, he says. Take off 10 pounds, he says. Now digest the fact that at 5-6, 145 pounds, the position he plays
"My size? No problem,'' Sample said. "I'm so quick to the hole, those big linemen never have a chance to mess with me."'
If it's true, it ain't boasting.
Sample yesterday rushed 15 times for 131 yards and one touchdown as Frankford pounded archrival North Catholic,
4-14, before a roaring, standing-room-only crowd of 5,000-plus at windswept Frankford Memorial Stadium.
North leads the series, 39-27-4.
Sample helped to author Pioneer history on his 61-yard, third-quarter touchdown, which raised his season's total to
1,029 yards. He and franchise halfback Eddie Gaskins (1,734 yards) are the first teammates in Frankford history to reach
1,000 yards in the same season, and the first in the Public League to do so since Central's Jarrod Washington and
Sundiata Rush in 1988.
"One-thousand yards? I can't even tell you how I feel about that,'' an overwhelmed Sample said.
"Herbie, that's my man,'' bubbled Gaskins, who finished with 202 yards and three TDs on 18 carries. ``He's the people's
man. Everybody likes him. Teachers, fans, girls. He has a great personality. He's a funny guy to be around. And the
players know how hard he works.''
But he's only 145 pounds.
"Doesn't matter,'' Gaskins said. "He has the heart of a lion.''
Early in the fourth quarter, meanwhile, Gaskins finally displayed the heart of a hot dog and that wound up producing
With Frankford leading, 47-8, Frankford coach Tom Mullineaux put his first offense back on the field merely hoping,
he said, to melt the clock. Instead, Gaskins exploded for a 53-yard touchdown and made a headlong dive into the end
zone even though the closest defender, Fred Weidenmiller, had no legitimate shot at making a tackle.
"My brother and a couple old Frankford teammates were telling me, `You never do anything [to show emotion] when
you score,' '' Gaskins said. "I figured I had to do something for them. It was a one-time thing.''
On North's next play, Jim Miller caught a swing pass from Brian Kulb (14-for-33, 123 yards) and headed for
Frankford's sideline. Miller roared across the sideline, banged into Mullineaux, tossed the ball at him and muttered
something about Gaskins still being in the game.
"I couldn't believe it,'' Mullineaux said. "I thought, `This kid's aiming right for me. ' What was his problem?''
Miller was not ejected, but coach Rich Betts did not play him thereafter.
"Evidently, Miller felt Frankford was running up the score, and he didn't appreciate that,'' Betts said. ``We saw what
he did. We told him, `We don't do that here,' then we put him on the bench and left him there.''
Of Gaskins's late-game presence on offense, Betts said, "Frankford has [rolled up scores] all year, so it was nothing
I didn't expect.''
Incorrect. Mullineaux was guilty of leaving the first team offense on the field too long in a 63-29 win over Murrell
Dobbins Tech last Saturday in a PL semifinal, but before that, he was quick to pull Gaskins and his playmates
whenever a game became even remotely one-sided.
"I wouldn't try to run up the score,'' he said. ``I don't like those kind of people."
The Falcons were so generous in the first half, they must have thought the holiday was Christmas.
Frankford needed to drive only 20 yards for its first score, Jim Nagle's 6-yard pass to David Kenner, after Miller
fumbled a snap on a punt and was tackled by Doyya Johnson.
Danny Owens accidentally sent his kickoff only 13 yards downfield and Michael Dolbow recovered for Frankford.
Gaskins scored from the 7 eight plays later. Frankford's third and fourth scores capped drives of only 28 and 5 yards,
respectively, after a shanked punt and fumble (forced by Owens, recovered by Carlton Calhoun).
"Our guys didn't come to play,'' Betts said. ``Turnovers hurt us early, and special teams.''
Sample was a fan of Frankford football long before he became a player. His brother, Clifford Waddy, was a fullback
in 1995 and his first cousin, Eugene Waddy, was a defensive end in '92.
Sample and Gaskins grew up around the corner from each other, but they played for rival youth organizations -
Sample for Frankford Chargers, Gaskins for Frankford Boys Club. Though Sample is a three-year varsity player, this
is his first season starting.
"I didn't have doubts about getting the spot,'' he said. "I'm not big, but I can run. Give me a little opening, and I'm
gone. A team always needs speed. To me, this doesn't seem any different than weight ball. Guys hit hard, sure, but
I've never had to come off the field because of an injury.''
He did have to yield, though, to the temptation to race against Gaskins.
"Early this season, we did a 50-yard dash,'' Sample said. "Who won? It was a tie. A flat-out tie.''
Imagine that - Eddie Gaskins being tied in a race by a fullback.
This story was
written after Tom won his fourth Public League championship in
what turned out to be his final season . . .
By Ted Silary
THEY PAIRED UP, got a good running start and took headlong diiiiiiiives right into the worse-than-soupy mud.
Almost en masse, they scrambled onto a 5-foot-high snowbank behind their bench and joyously posed for
All around, guys playfully pelted each other with mud and/or snowballs and tossed one another to the ground.
They smeared mud all over their uniforms, as if that were necessary, at least for the starters, and tried their best,
mostly unsuccessfully, to keep small chunks out of their mouths and eyes.
It's never not fun to win a championship and then go crazy in the moments immediately after, as the reality sinks
in little by little. But it's hard to imagine any football team in city history experienced more postgame ecstasy, in
more manners, than did the 2003 Frankford Pioneers last night at Northeast High's Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium.
Frankford 12, George Washington 0.
That was the final score in the once-delayed Public League title game (it had been postponed by snow last
Saturday) and it enabled the Pioneers to set a school record for shutouts (eight).
The win gave coach Tom Mullineaux, who almost certainly will retire, his fourth PL title in 16 seasons and an
overall record of 145-31-1.
The conditions were rather horrendous. The field was a mess even before the action began, and it grew worse
as areas of hard slush also turned to mud, thanks to a rain that was annoying throughout, and sometimes drenching.
Luckily, it wasn't too cold or windy.
(No one worked on the field until Monday, according to school district personnel, because snow and ice first had
to be cleared from schools across the city. Eventually, 25 people, assorted field caretakers and interns, worked at
Northeast to clear the field - well, mostly - and shovel out the stands. There was a late problem with one full bank
of lights, but it was remedied shortly before game time.)
For Ervin Hook, the conditions seemed downright perfect.
Moonlit skies. Maybe 70 degrees. Not a hint of moisture on the playing surface.
"I loved this. Didn't mind it at all," he said. "They always say that Frankford plays its best football in the rain and
slop. Who's they? Our coaches. Our fans. All of us players, too. It's like we know, when it's like this, we own the
He smiled. "This was beautiful. I'll never forget how 'nice' it was tonight."
Hook, a 6-2, 205-pound senior, spent this season playing end and outside linebacker. In this finale, which left
Frankford with an 11-0 record, two consecutive championships and a 20-game winning streak, Hook made two
huge plays. A weird one set up a touchdown. The other prevented one.
In the first quarter, with Frankford on offense, Hook picked up a blocked punt just behind the line of scrimmage,
the GW 45, and motored to the 31, 9 more than necessary for a first down.
"Our coaches always tell us to play to the whistle," Hook said. "I didn't see the block, but I heard the thump. I
turned around and saw the ball and decided to pick it up.
"I didn't know the rule. I thought, 'Can I do this? Well, I'll run downfield and see what happens. When this is
over, it could be our ball, could be their ball. But at least I'll do what I can.' "
Seven plays later, on the first play of the second quarter, right after Michael Washington made a spectacular
diving catch of a pass from junior Lamont Brown to produce a 21-yard gain, Arnold Mullins (13 carries, 67
yards) ran 5 yards for a score.
Hook's interception came late in the third quarter, with the score still 6-0, and ended Washington's best chance.
The whole series was vintage, actually.
It began when Mullins lost a fumble and Rich McFillin recovered at the Frankford 12. In order, Andre Mungin
dropped halfback Marcus Banks for a 3-yard loss, Isaiah "Zeke" Thompson registered a 5-yard sack on McFillin,
McFillin threw incomplete and Hook made the fourth-down pick at the 10, adding a 29-yard return for good measure.
"That was all the pressure by my front four," Hook said. "Once they applied such great pressure, catching the
ball was easy. I had to come down with it."
The Pioneers made it 12-0 two series later. Sophomore Brandon Norris (8-80) zoomed 44 yards to the 27 and
Jeremy Benson (16-84) rumbled home from there.
Frankford's defense, coordinated by Bill Clausen, featured ends Thompson and Benson, tackles Ray Williams
and Henry Smith, inside linebackers Joe Farina and Zaire Small, outside linebackers Hook and Washington,
cornerbacks Mullins and Brandon Norris and the safety, Mungin.
The Pioneers yielded 66 points this season: 14 to Washington on Oct. 17, then 52 total in back-to-back games
- a semi vs. Central (24) and Thanksgiving vs. North Catholic (28).
If their confidence was rocked, they won't admit it now.
"We knew we still had a good defense," said Hook, who is being eyed by Division II schools and wants to work
in recreation. "We knew we were shutting down Washington."
It happened, too. The Eagles (10-2), who were averaging 29.5 points entering the game, had to settle for 73
yards total offense and franchise rusher Jerry Butler, a junior who lives in Frankford, was held to 37 yards on 15
carries. He did, however, emerge as the school's season rushing leader, with 1,247 yards. Reuben White had 1,228
"Jerry Butler's my boy," Thompson, who had two sacks, said, smiling. "But I see him all the time around the way.
Couldn't let him get a title on us.
"Yeah, we gave up some points [to Central/North]. But we came in here knowing what it was like to win a
championship. We also knew we were going home with another one. We shut them down all night."
Below are the players who earned Coaches' All-Public honors during Tom Mullineaux's 16 seasons
as the coach at Frankford.
|Toney Snipes||B||1988||Eddie Gaskins||RB||1997|
|Paul Shipman||L||1988||Herbert "Pitter" Sample||RB||1997|
|Steve Irving||L||1988||Danny Owens||L-LB||1997|
|Robert Gallagher||L||1989||Michael Statham||DL||1997|
|John Zazulak||L||1989||Rasheed Muhammed||DB||1997|
|Nicky DeNofa||QB||1989||Terrance "Ted" Cook||L-DL||1998|
|Jerry Santa||LB||1989||David Kenner||Rec.-DL||1998|
|Montik Goodwin||DB||1989||Jim Nagle||QB||1998|
|Bill Thompson||L||1990||James Allen||DB||1999|
|Jim McCreesh||L||1990||Theodore McNeil||RB||1999|
|Rich Pyott||L||1990||Jesse Gregg||L||1999|
|Damien Adams||RB||1991||Victor Murray||DE||1999|
|Paul Gebeline||LB||1991||Doug Stanley||DE||1999|
|O.J. Thomas||RB||1991||Michael Dolbow||L||2000|
|Wayne Rice||Rec.||1991||Steve Domico||L||2000|
|Anthony D'Aloia||DL||1991||Lacey Lancaster||QB||2000|
|Chris Stathakopoulos||LB||1992||Jeff Nagle||TE||2000|
|William "Boo" Minor||Rec.||1992||Shawn Williams||LB||2000|
|Derrick "Wiggles" Lanier||RB-DB||1993||Tracy Williams||L||2001|
|Rasheen Braddock||RB||1993||Michael Robinson||LB||2001|
|Joe Stout||L-DL||1993||Marcus "Dink" Waddy||RB||2001|
|Robert Boyle||QB||1993||Adam Hartman||Rec.-DB||2002|
|Joe Smith||Rec.-DB||1994||Darrell "D.J." Turner||QB||2002|
|Robert Gebeline||LB||1994||Joselito Cruz||RB-LB||2002|
|C.J. Szydlik||DL||1994||Ricky Rolon||L||2002|
|Dennis Johnson||DL||1994||Joel Rodriguez||L||2002|
|Lovato Bowman||DB||1994||Phil Wood||L||2002|
|Tony Pace||L||1994||Arnold Mullins||RB||2003|
|Raymond Harris||L-LB||1995||Jeremy Benson||RB||2003|
|Jeffrey Mims||L-DL||1995||Michael Washington||Rec.||2003|
|Jim Bell||L||1995||Joe Farina||LB||2003|
|Robert Woolford||Rec.||1995||Isaiah "Zeke" Thompson||L||2003|
|Earl Murray||DB||1995||Ray Williams||DL||2003|
Recaps of Wins in Public