Flynn’s On The Hill was the site for a joint meeting of the Rotary Clubs of Easton and Phillipsburg. The program featured Fran O’Hanlon, who recently retired from a 27-year run as Head Coach of the Lafayette College basketball team. Fran is a native of Philadelphia and played college basketball for Villanova. The Philadelphia 76ers drafted him in 1970 but he wound up playing for the Miami Floridians in the ABA. He soon moved on and played professionally in Sweden until he turned to coaching in 1982.
He coached teams in Venezuela and Israel before landing a job at Temple as an assistant coach for the women’s team. At Temple he met Eve Atkinson who would go on to be the first female Athletic Director at Lafayette College. He moved on to be an assistant at Penn, coaching with his longtime friend Fran Dunphy. In 1995 he was hired by Eve Atkinson to become Head Coach at Lafayette.
There were no athletic scholarships allowed in the Patriot League when he first started with the Leopards. Recruiting in such a league requires a focus on academic ability combined with specific team needs. Coach Fran led Lafayette to several Patriot League titles and three trips to the NCAA round of 64. None of his players reached the NBA but some did have success in European leagues.