Alumni Profile

Frank Monaco ’72

Franciscan Magazine Homepage > Summer 2024 > Frank Monaco ’72

Alumni Profile

Frank Monaco ’72

Retired police officer Frank Monaco reflects on his career.

Summer 2024 | Melissa Zifzal

In This Article

Frank Monaco’s mother told him she would only pay for college if he went to a Catholic school. So, Frank dutifully enrolled in the College of Steubenville, majoring in English— and never regretted it. He says the College gave him a solid educational background and lifelong friends, including many from his Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

After graduating in 1972, he began working in retail and worked his way up to assistant manager for The Coach House men’s store after beginning his retail career at Kaufmann’s (now Macy’s) in Pittsburgh. Retail didn’t excite him, so his father suggested Frank take the Pennsylvania State Police test.

“I wasn’t sure it was for me, but I left 32 years later with tears in my eyes,” he says.

Frank had a storied career with the state police. In charge of the state troopers at the United Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, he helped secure the area where, he notes, 90 percent of the evidence against the terrorists was discovered.

“That’s the busiest I ever was. We were there for 11 or 12 days straight,” he says.

His work also included heading up a cold case squad that led to the solving of 15 murders, including one that happened in 1978. Two decades later, Frank and his team were able to use DNA evidence collected at the scene to solve the crime.

“It was one of the happiest days of my career,” he says.

Frank doesn’t take credit for the unit’s success; instead, he points out that he simply chose “the smartest guys” to investigate the crimes.

Over the years, Frank ran the state police’s SCUBA team, the organized crime unit, and the liquor enforcement unit for the western half of the state and taught courses for the National White Collar Crime Center. After retiring from the Pennsylvania State Police, Frank served as chief of police for Plum Borough, a Pittsburgh suburb, for seven years, retiring in 2014. He says he likes to keep busy, so he currently does private security and private detective work, along with teaching corporate driving improvement, a job he’s worked since 1998 that’s given him the opportunity to travel to 48 states.

Except for his four years at the College, Frank has lived his entire life in Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Nancy, currently live northeast of Pittsburgh in New Kensington and will be married 50 years in 2025. They have a son who is a deputy sheriff, three daughters, and eight grandchildren.

Melissa Zifzal writes from Wintersville, Ohio.

Go to Top