Frank Minnifield elected chairman of U of L trustees

Former UL, NFL player and Lexington native Frank Minnifield.
Former UL, NFL player and Lexington native Frank Minnifield.

Central Kentucky businessman Frank Minnifield has been elected chairman of the University of Louisville's Board of Trustees.

Minnifield, a U of L alumnus, was chosen for the post at the board's Thursday meeting.

He called it a "strange feeling" to be the top official at the university where he was one of the football team's three captains during his final year in 1982. The graduate of Henry Clay High School in Lexington went on to play for the NFL's Cleveland Browns for nine years before retiring after the 1992 season.

After retiring, Minnifield, 51, became well known among Lexington business people for building homes, but he transitioned out of that business several years ago.

Today, Minnifield Enter prizes is a purchasing agent for multiple Toyota manufacturing plants and makes parts for a Toyota supplier.

He was appointed to U of L's board in 2007 by then-Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

Minnifield said he thinks the university's top priority is the merger of University Hospital and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare with St. Joseph Health System of Lexington, which is owned by Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives.

"We're also trying to be one of the nation's top research institutions by 2020," he said.

Minnifield said he brings to the job a strong ability to focus.

"That's one of the characteristics of pro football players. When everything is chaotic around you, you have to be able to concentrate on what your job is," he said. "That's probably my best characteristic."