Born: December 18, 1892
Died: April 28, 1968
Graduated: Winfield (KS) High School, 1908; Southwestern College, 1912; University of Chicago, 1913
Considered one of the greatest high school coaches in Kansas, Frank Lindley was the force behind the Newton High School basketball dynasty and the rise of the Ark Valley League as the state’s premier prep conference in the years when Kansas was establishing itself as one of the nation’s hotbeds of the sport.
Playing Career Highlights
As a sophomore at Southwestern College in 1910, Lindley scored 40 points in a game against Fairmount College, which later became Wichita State.
Newton Basketball Dynasty
Lindley coached at Newton from 1914-45 and won eight state championships for the Railroaders. His team won 18 Ark Valley League titles and appeared in the state championship game 16 times. Lindley was the author of numerous books about basketball; was among the first to use the zone defense and other innovations in the game. He finished his career with a record of 594-118 and guided Newton to state titles in 1916, 1917, 1921, 1926, 1931, 1936, 1937 and 1942. His 1931 team was unbeaten and six others finished with one loss. One former player aptly said, “It was a dream of every kid in Newton to play basketball for Newton High School.” After he retired from coaching in 1945, Lindley was the high school’s principal until 1951.