Frank O’Neill, Lakers trainer from 1960-1974, died Tuesday at his home in Playa del Rey from congestive heart failure. He was 81.
O’Neill, who took over training duties when the Lakers moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, received his training to become an athletic trainer while attending the University of Florida. He earned his certificate as a physical therapist while in the Navy and worked with the Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Southern California before joining the Lakers.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Frank O’Neill,” said Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. “Frank was a highly respected trainer and played an integral part in bringing our first championship to Los Angeles in 1972. Our condolences and prayers go out to his family.”
Born on May 25, 1929, O’Neill is survived by his four children Frank, Jr., Patricia, Michael and Mark; and six grandchildren.