Tindall was born in the United States and was educated at Syracuse University, where he was selected as an All-America football star. He first came to Queen's in 1939 and coached the football team for a single season before the outbreak of the Second World War. He returned to the team when the war was over and quickly made his name as a master strategist and motivator.
Under his leadership, Queen's football teams won a total of eight intercollegiate titles and one national title. The Frank Tindall trophy is given annually to the top intercollegiate football coach in Canada.