A native of San Francisco, Frank Cooney is a creative entrepreneur with significant success in a wide range of fields. A pioneer in journalism as well as electronic, broadcast and online media, he is the founder and publisher of NFLDraftScout.com and The Sports Xchange wire service.
Frank studied English and semantics at San Francisco State University under the esteemed Professor S. I. Hayakawa, for whom he interned on two books. In 1965 Cooney began a diverse media career with the Hearst Corporation’s San Francisco flagship newspaper, where he was an innovative reporter, football analyst and award-winning columnist until 1994. In the 1970s he co-founded Sausalito newspaper Marin Scope, which grew into network of six regional Marin County publications.
In the 1980s he worked with Electronic Arts founder Tripp Hawkins to develop the underlying rating system that runs Madden Football, the most successful sports video game in history, and is still used on virtually every sports game. In 1994 he left Hearst and joined internationally-renowned David Hill on the launch team for FOX Sports and the NFL on FOX, winning the first of four Emmys in 1995.
In 1985 Frank and his son, Jon, created a unique electronic (Bulletin Board) system that facilitated information exchange among almost 300 sports writers who previously relied on telephone conference calls. In 1987 Cooney launched Sports Xchange publishing, the beginning of a wire service that was ubiquitous on the internet from 1992 until 2017, covering more than 7,200 U.S. sports events on-site as a cost-efficient alternative to The Associated Press. TSX was primarily a white-labeled service, but branded as sports content by virtually every major media player spanning the last three decades. Sports Xchange was at the dawn of internet media with Global Network Navigator (later AOL), Sportsline (later CBSSports.com), along with FOX Sports, Gannett (USA Today newspaper and online, Baseball Weekly, Sports Weekly), Scout.com and Reuters.
Cooney’s primary passion has always been football. He began analyzing college players for pro potential in 1967 and worked with the World Football League, USFL and 21 NFL teams. He was a player/general manager in semi-pro football in the 1970s, helping the San Mateo team to two championship games in Las Vegas. He was inducted into the American Football Association Hall of Fame in 2007. Since 1992 he has been on the prestigious Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection committee and the Seniors subcommittee.
His NFLDraftScout.com previously created content for several media outlets and the NFL itself for many years, then spent the last decade hosted on CBSSports.com. Traffic to NFLDraftScout.com pages climbed to 14 million last April. This year, NFLDraftScout.com launched its own site.
Cooney co-authored “Fire in the Iceman,” the biography of Tom Flores, and worked with John Madden and Bill Walsh on books about coaching football. Cooney and his wife Susan live in Grass Valley, CA where the family owns the iconic Tofanelli’s Italian-American Bistro. They have five adult children, 13 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Frank participates in civic functions and both collects and restores classic American vehicles.