Bill Fralic Center
Bill Fralic was born and raised in Penn Hills, where he became a star on the football and wrestling teams at Penn Hills High School, helping to lead the football team to three PIAA championships in the late 70s and early 80s. As a junior, Fralic won the WPIAL heavyweight wrestling championship. As a senior, he was named a Parade football All-American. He was the first sophomore in Penn Hills history to earn a varsity letter. In his senior year, he was awarded Dial Male Athlete of the Year, an accolade bestowed upon Herschel Walker the year prior. He graduated in 1981. He was a consensus All-American as a junior and senior while playing offensive lineman at the University of Pittsburgh. His teammates included Dan Marino and Jimbo Covert. In Heisman Trophy voting, Fralic made history by being the first offensive lineman to place in the top 10 twice. The University retired his iconic #79 jersey during his final home game in 1984.
Bill Fralic was not only an all-time player at the University of Pittsburgh, but also an all-time human being. His generosity, support and concern for others was unmatched. For as hulking a figure as he was, Billy was even larger in his kindness and passion for others. He leaves a wonderful legacy that goes well beyond football at Pitt, Penn Hills and all of Western Pennsylvania. Pat Narduzzi, Head Football Coach University of Pittsburgh
Fralic was the second overall selection in the 1985 NFL Draft and a first-year starter with the Atlanta Falcons on the offensive line. Fralic was named to the All-Pro team in 1986 and 1987, and to the Pro Bowl for four consecutive seasons, from 1986 to 1989. Fralic made a name for himself as a fierce run blocker in the NFL. He is most known for the 'Pancake Block' because of how he flattened opponents when blocking. In 1993, Fralic concluded his NFL career with the Detroit Lions.
During his NFL career, Fralic dabbled in professional wrestling occasionally. The World Wrestling Federation hired him to participate in a battle royal at WrestleMania 2 in 1986 with William "Refrigerator" Perry and other football stars of the period. On July 4, 1993, Fralic participated in the "Stars and Stripes Challenge" to bodyslam WWF champion Yokozuna atop the USS Intrepid.
Fralic served as color analyst for Atlanta Falcons radio broadcasts from 1995 to 1997 and Pittsburgh Panther broadcasts from 2004 to 2010. He also founded an insurance agency in 1989.
The WPIAL Outstanding Lineman Award, or Bill Fralic Memorial Award, is awarded to an outstanding football player who is a leader in his school and on his team and demonstrates dominance on offense, defense or both.
Bill Fralic's generosity helped finance the construction of the athletic complex that bears his name. It opened in 1999 and was Pennsylvania's only indoor high school sports facility of its kind at the time.
Mr. Fralic heard prior to the 2018 Penn Hills team's 5A championship game against Manheim Central that, because of a lack of funding, the team would travel from Penn Hills to Hershey on game day. Mr. Fralic graciously ensured that the team would not be at a competitive disadvantage and provided the finances necessary to secure lodging near the championship site the night before the game.
Bill Fralic lost his fight with cancer in 2018 at age 56 shortly after his Alma Mater won the 5A State Championship.