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Frank Carroll, beloved figure skating coach to Michelle Kwan and others, dies at 85

Carroll's decadeslong career in the sport helped skaters like Kwan, Evan Lysacek and Linda Fratianne become Olympians.
Frank Carroll
Posted at 3:18 PM, Jun 10, 2024

Frank Caroll, a champion coach to Olympic figure skaters like Michelle Kwan and Evan Lysacek, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 85 years old.

"U.S. Figure Skating mourns the loss of coaching legend Frank Carroll," the organization said on X. "A member of the World and U.S. Figure Skating Halls of Fame, Frank was instrumental in the careers of numerous Olympic and World champions and many future Hall of Famers."

Carroll's career in the sport kicked off with junior bronze medal wins at the 1959 and 1960 U.S. Championships. He then skated at the professional level with Ice Follies for more than four years before transitioning to coaching full-time.

In his 60 years in the role, Carroll coached one Olympic champion, six Olympic medalists and 11 Olympians from five countries at 10 Olympics, U.S. Figure Skating states. He also coached three World champions, four World Junior champions and six U.S. champions.

Some of those students have become household names through their reign in the sport under Carroll's mentorship. He coached Linda Fratianna to two world championships and a 1980 Olympic silver medal, Timothy Goebel to two world silver medals and a 2002 Olympic bronze medal, and Evan Lysacek to a 2009 world championship and a 2010 Olympic gold medal — becoming Carroll's first student to win the title.

He was also the notable coach attached to five-time world champion Michelle Kwan for most of her career, helping her to silver and bronze Olympic medals in 1998 and 2002, respectively.

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"For over 10 years Frank was by my side — coaching and mentoring me to be the best skater and person that I can be," Kwan said in a text message to USA Today. "He bestowed upon me a wealth of knowledge and history of the sport he loved so much. Off the ice and over the years, he became much more than just a coach. I know he's changed the lives of thousands of skaters for the better, and I'm grateful that I'm one of them and I wouldn't be here without his guidance. I love and miss Frank very much."

Carroll was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1996 and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2007. In 1997, he became the first figure skating coach to be named Olympic Coach of the Year.

The legendary figure retired from coaching in 2018, 23 days after his 80th birthday.