Frank “Tick” Coleman, Black Educator Hall of Fame

E’ry day this month, the Center for Black Educator Development, in partnership with, will highlight a Black Educator Hall of Famer.

But, don’t forget, e’ry month is Black History Month. February is just the Blackest.

Today, our featured Black educator is Frank “Tick” Coleman.

Frank “Tick” Coleman was born in Philadelphia, PA on February 28, 1911. Frank Coleman, whose nickname “Tick” was because of his ability to do all things quickly, went to school at Logan Elementary and later to Central High School where he became the school’s first Black quarterback. His play helped the team win state championships in 1929 and 1930. After graduating from high school, Coleman enrolled at Lincoln University.

He was quarterback and football team captain at Lincoln, the historically Black college in Chester County, where he also managed the basketball team, was on the wrestling team, was class president, and was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Coleman graduated from Lincoln in 1935 with his B.A. Coleman was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Lincoln and would later earn a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work.

Coleman worked professionally in the city of Philadelphia. He was a probation officer and social worker. However, he transitioned to a career in school counseling with the School District of Philadelphia from 1949 to 1981. In 1981, he returned to his alma mater (Lincoln) and served as served as director of Alumni Relations, until 1988, where he mentored students and funded numerous scholarships for African-American youth to attend college.

While at the university, Coleman received an honorary doctorate in 1984.

His involvement in the community included, but was not limited to, the Philadelphia Christian Street YMCA, Wharton Settlement, Wissahickon Boys Club, Department of Public Assistance, Department of Recreation, Peace Corps, and Salvation Army. While serving as a mentor in the community, Coleman reached back into his past to offer inspiration.

While a freshman at Central High School, Coleman became one of only three Black Eagle Scouts in the country, and he often spoke to boys and their parents about the benefits of scouting: “If we can get young men into scouting, it might help them get off the streets with these guns.” He never let his retirement stop him from being in the community with the people. It gave him purpose.

In honor of his contributions to the city and community, Philadelphia renamed the 2100 block of Earp Street in South Philadelphia to Dr. Frank “Tick” Coleman Way. Coleman died on December 25, 2008.

Frank Coleman; a member of the Black Educator Hall of Fame.

For more information on Frank “Tick” Coleman, visit the following site.


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