Frank “Tappy” Taplin was born January 15, 1933 in Lowell, Massachusetts, a tough mill town on the banks of the Merrimack River. He was the oldest of four boys born to Frank and Marion Taplin. Growing up in Centerville, a rough section of the city, and living across the street from the ball field, sports became his passion. Frank was awarded a basketball scholarship to Keith Academy, a private prep school, where he captained the team in his senior year when they won the league title. He also led the team in scoring and played in the All New England Tournament at the Boston Garden. Frank garnered All City Honors in both basketball and baseball. He picked up a tennis racquet at age 13 when kids from his side of the tracks didn’t play tennis. He went on to become the City of Lowell Junior Tennis Champion in 1947, ’48 and ’49. The city newspaper, The Lowell Sun, referred to him as a “dead-end kid” playing tennis.
Frank graduated from Keith Academy in 1951 and went to work for the Lowell Sun newspaper while attending Lowell Textile Institute. He joined the army in 1954 and spent three years at Redstone Arsenal playing both baseball and basketball for the Arsenal teams. Discharged from the army in 1957, he enrolled in the University of Alabama where he graduated in 1960 with a B.S. in Chemistry and a Masters in Education. His best friend, Hugh Mason, suggested he visit West Babylon as they were looking for teachers. Frank met with Superintendent Mr. Helmer Petersen who hired him as a math teacher. “Tappy” had found his home. He married his beautiful wife Adele, who was a teacher at Santapogue, in 1961. Together they have five children and five grandchildren.
Frank’s career at West Babylon spanned 38 years during which he was a math teacher, guidance counselor, 9th grade baseball, basketball and soccer coach, J.Y. basketball coach, Assistant Varsity basketball coach and Varsity basketball coach.