TAYLORVILLE HIGH SCHOOL
SPORTS HALL OF FAME 
PORTRAIT

FRANK HURTTE

    Frank Hurtte played football and baseball for the Taylorville Tornadoes from 1941 through 1944. He lettered all four years in baseball as an outstanding pitcher, and lettered three years in football, playing most of his time at right guard.

    As a football player, Hurtte was an aggressive lineman, who anchored both offensive and defensive lines on the 1943 team that ended their season with an 8-0 record, only to lose a "challenge"game to Champaign High School at the end of the season. During his senior year, Hurtte blocked three punts, two of which were returned for touchdowns and the third returned to the two yard line where a touchdown was scored on the next play from scrimmage.

    In the spring, Frank Hurtte led the 1944 Tornadoes baseball team to an undefeated regular season record of 11-0, picking up 8 wins as a pitcher. During those games, Hurtte pitched 55 innings and struck out 100 batters. His overpowering fast ball and sharp breaking curve ball presented opposing hitters a challenge that only allowed 38 hits and 21 runs (not all earned) during the season. Hurtte reached the zenith of his high school career with a 22 strike out performance against Shelbyville in a 12-5 win. The Tornadoes only loss of the season came at the hands of famed Robin Roberts and the Lanphier Lions, in the first game of the sectional tournament when Hurtte was forced to leave the game with an injury after pitching only two innings.

    Passing up opportunities to sign contracts with both the St Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, Frank Hurtte, chose instead, to accept a scholarship to play football and attend the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. As a freshman, Hurtte, along with Taylorville teammates, Don Janssen and Johnny Orr started on the offensive line for the Fighting Illini in the fall of 1944.

    Following that year, Frank Hurtte's football career took a unique path as he entered the merchant marines and then played for two more different college football teams. While in the merchant marines, Hume played on a service championship basketball team. With. World War II coming to an end, Frank Hurtte left the service and received a scholarship and enrolled at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. While at Centenary, he lettered and was named captain of the football team. Following that first season, Centenary chose to drop football from its athletic program, so Hurtte, accepted a scholarship and transferred to the University of Houston in Texas, where again he lettered and was selected captain of the football team.

    Following his senior year at Houston, Hurtle was recruited by the Los Angeles Rams, but having earned a business degree at the University of Houston, Hurtte chose the world of business in instead of professional football. He was employed by the Ada Oil Company until 1959, when he returned to Taylorville and opened his own business. He lived in Taylorville for the next 36 years, where he became an active community leader, especially in helping youth and athletics. As a businessman he sponsored little league teams, in football, basketball and baseball. He provided color commentary for the local radio broadcast of Tornadoes football games. Hurtte always made himself available to assist in fund raising for teams through organizing events such as chili suppers.