Forrest W. “Frosty” England, 89, athletic director and head football coach at the University of Toledo from 1954 to 1957 who went on to a successful real estate career, died yesterday in Arbors of Sylvania. The cause of death isn't known, but he had been ill recently, daughter-in-law Dee England said.
He founded Frosty England Co. in 1981 after having been a vice president of Grogan Realty, with which he was affiliated 24 years.
Mr. England's first claim to local fame was his hiring in 1954 by UT. His first-year team featured two UT legends - running back Mel Triplett and two-way lineman George Machoukas - and finished with a 6-2-1 record, including a 39-0 defeat of Bowling Green State University. Mr. England was runner-up for Ohio College Coach of the Year, second to Woody Hayes.
“He was so different from anyone we had up until then,” said retired Blade columnist Seymour Rothman, who covered the team. “He sold that university program. He sold seats.”
In 1955 the team had a losing season. The rules changed, he told The Blade in 1992. UT, then a municipal university, was playing state schools with twice the budget and deep benches. He had a heart attack in early 1956, and an assistant was named interim coach.
He had another heart attack in early 1957, and his contract was not renewed.
Before that, he was head football coach for eight years at Arkansas State University.
“God, I loved football. I think I'd still be coaching ... if not for the heart attacks. Ain't nobody ever lived who loved football more than I did,” he told The Blade in 1992.
Mr. England received a bachelor's degree from Illinois College, Jacksonville, Ill. He and his wife, Lois, met and married there and became benefactors of the school, which named the football stadium Frosty and Lois England Field. He received an honorary doctorate in 1992 from Illinois College.
He received a master's degree from the University of Missouri.
Mr. England was a member of Monroe Street United Methodist Church. His wife died April 4, 2001.
Surviving are his sons, Ron and Larry; five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Monroe Street United Methodist Church. The Walker Mortuary handled arrangements.
The family requests tributes to the American Heart Association.