Frank W. Keaney

Known as the architect of modern run-and-shoot basketball, Frank Keaney’s uptempo style made use of a fast-breaking offense and a full-court defense. Keaney’s innovative tactics enabled his 1939 Rhode Island club to become the first college team to score better than 50 points per game. In 1943, Rhode Island averaged over two points a minute (80.7 points per game), earning them the nickname, “The Firehouse Gang.” In 27 seasons at the University of Rhode Island, Keaney had only one losing record, led the Rams to four NIT appearances, and finished with a career record of 401-124.Namesake for the University of Rhode Island Frank W. Keaney Gymnasium-Armory. Opposing coaches hated the fast-breaking style of Keaney-led teams but the results showed the future of basketball. Keaney preached speed at all times, urging his boys on to higher and higher scores from the sidelines. When Keaney decided to enter the professional leagues, he became the first coach ever to be signed by the Boston Celtics.