PHILADELPHIA – Fencing head coach Dr. Nikki Franke and Temple alum Art McNally have been announced as two of 17 inductees for the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. The Class of 2022 will be enshrined on Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Event Center at Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.
This season, Franke celebrated the 50th anniversary of the fencing program that she founded in 1972. During that time she has amassed 898 wins and 26 straight NIWFA Championships. Franke led the Owls to a program-high No. 5 ranking during the 2019-20 season and qualified the maximum number of fencers (six) for the NCAA Championships the following year. Epeeist Margherita Calderaro finished in sixth place while saberist Eva Hinds tied for seventh place, with both earning Second Team All-American honors, marking the first time in program history that the Owls have earned two top-8 finishes. Calderaro also set the program record for the highest individual finish in epee at the NCAA Championships.
This is the fifth Hall of Fame induction for the former Olympian, with her most recent inductions being the International Sports Hall of Fame and the Temple Athletics Hall of Fame with the 1992 National Champion Fencing Team. Franke has also been inducted into the Temple Athletics Hall of Fame as an individual, the US Fencing Association Hall of Fame, and the Brooklyn College Hall of Fame. She also received the United States Fencing Coaches Association Women’s Fencing Coach of the Year honors in 1983, 1987, 1988, and 1991.
Franke was a member of the 1976 and 1980 U.S. Olympic teams and was the United States Fencing Association’s (USFA) National Foil Champion in both 1975 and 1980. She was the runner-up in the national finals in 1978 and finished third in 1976, 1977, and 1979. Franke was a member of the U.S. Team which placed fifth in the 1973 World University Games in Moscow, as well as the American squad that competed in the World University Games in Bulgaria in 1977. A member of two U.S. delegations that competed in the 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games, she captured a silver medal in the 1975 individual foil competition and a bronze in the 1979 competition. On both occasions, she helped the United States team to a third-place finish.
McNally is a native of Philadelphia and graduated from Roman Catholic High School before earning his degree from Temple. He was a teacher and coach in the Philadelphia school district at Central High School until his appointment as the NFL’s supervisor of officials before the 1968 season.
Before becoming director of officiating, McNally served as a field judge and referee in the NFL for nine years from 1959 to 1967. During a 22-year span, he officiated over 3,000 football, baseball, and basketball games, which included one year in the National Basketball Association.
As NFL director of officiating, McNally headed a department of five who coordinated and directed a staff of 112 game officials. He was responsible for the scouting, screening, hiring, and grading of the seven-man crews that work each NFL game. After retiring as director of officiating, McNally accepted the position as supervisor of officials for the World League of American Football in December 1991, a position he held for five years. McNally continued to serve as a league consultant and game observer thereafter.
McNally, a 2022 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is also a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame (enshrined in 1987) and Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame (enshrined in 2022). He was a recipient of the Reds Bagnell Award from the Maxwell Football Club in 2004. In 1988, McNally was the first-ever recipient of the Gold Whistle Award presented by the National Association of Sports Officials.
Along with Franke and McNally, the Class of 2022 will include: David Akers, Keith Allen, Reds Bagnell, Ed Bolden, Adele Boyd, Charles Cooper, Howard Eskin, Susan Francia, Fredia Gibbs, Bernard Hopkins, Ray Kelly, Phil Martelli, Rollie Massimino, Jimmy Rollins as well as the 1983 NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers.