March 28, 1951 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Miller (MO) HS
Mulvane (KS) HS (Assistant)
Peabody (KS) HS
Kansas St. (Assistant)
Tennessee Tech (OC)
Southwest Texas St.
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||5–4 (NAIA D-I playoffs)
1–1 (NCAA D-II playoffs)
|Accomplishments and honors|
Dennis Wayne Franchione (born March 28, 1951), also known as Coach Fran, is an American football coach. He is currently the head football coach at Texas State University, a position he held from 1990 to 1991, when the school was known as Southwest Texas State University, and resumed in 2011. Franchione has also served as the head football coach at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas (1981–1982), Pittsburg State University (1985–1989), the University of New Mexico (1992–1997), Texas Christian University (1998–2000), the University of Alabama (2001–2002), and Texas A&M University (2003–2007). In his 27 seasons as a head coach in college football, Franchione has won eight conference championships and one divisional crown.
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Coaching career
- 3 Head coaching record
- 4 Notes
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Franchione was born in Girard, Kansas. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 1973 from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. Franchione and his wife, the former Kim Kraus, began dating after he took her on a tour of his alma mater, Pittsburg State, at the request of her father. They married shortly after, in 1977, while living in Peabody, Kansas. The couple have two daughters, Elizabeth Ann and Ashley Renee. Brad Franchione, his son from a previous marriage, was the head football coach at Blinn College prior to his current position with his father at Texas State. Brad and his wife, Rebecca, have three children.
After graduating from Pittsburg State, Franchione served as the head football coach at Miller High School in Miller, Missouri from 1973 to 1974. He then served as an assistant coach at Mulvane High School in Mulvane, Kansas in 1975. From 1976 to 1977, he served as the head coach at Peabody-Burns High School in Peabody, Kansas. In 1978, Franchione was hired to be an assistant coach at Kansas State University, a position he would hold until he was hired to be the head coach at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas in 1981. During his two years at Southwestern, he led the team to a 14–4–2 record, a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference title, and a Sunflower Bowl win. His nine wins in 1982 tied the school record and was Southwestern's most since 1967.
After two seasons as offensive coordinator at Tennessee Tech in 1983 and 1984, Franchione was hired as the head coach at his alma mater, Pittsburg State University. During his five seasons with the Gorillas, he led the team to a 53–6 record, 37–1 in conference, won five conference titles, and was named NAIA National Coach of the Year twice. He tied the school record for victories in a single season three times before breaking it with the 12 victories of his 1989 team. In 1990, he joined Texas State University, where he spent two years and compiled a 13–9 record.
In 1992, Franchione took his first head coaching job in Division I-A at the University of New Mexico. In his six seasons at New Mexico, he led the Lobos to a 33–36 record, including a 9–4 mark in 1997, which earned the Lobos a WAC Mountain Division Championship and an invitation to play in the Insight.com Bowl, their first bowl berth since 1961. During the 1996 and 1997 seasons, his roster included former NFL Pro Bowler Brian Urlacher.
In 1998, Franchione became the head coach at TCU and promptly turned their fortunes around, going from 1–10 the year before to 7–5 and a berth in the Sun Bowl, where the Horned Frogs defeated Southern California and set the record for fewest rushing yards allowed in a bowl game. He again led the Horned Frogs to a bowl game in 1999 on the legs of junior tailback LaDainian Tomlinson, who led the nation in rushing. Going into the 2000 season, the Frogs were being touted as a possible BCS Bowl contender before a disappointing loss to San Jose State. Despite the loss, the Frogs finished the season 10–1, were co-champions of the Western Athletic Conference, and accepted a bid to the Mobile Alabama Bowl. Before the scheduled bowl game, Franchione accepted a head coaching offer by the University of Alabama. Franchione was voted by TCU players to lead the team in the bowl game, which Franchione's defensive coordinator and newly named head coach Gary Patterson supported; however, after some controversy at the Heisman Trophy ceremony, TCU Athletic Director Eric Hyman reversed the vote, allowing Patterson to coach the bowl game. During Franchione's three years at TCU, he led the Horned Frogs to their first bowl victory since 1957, their first top 25 finish since 1959, and held the highest winning percentage among TCU coaches since Francis Schmidt (1929–1933). The tone and tenor of his exit from TCU remains a highly controversial subject among many TCU fans.
Franchione became the head coach at the University of Alabama in 2001 and led the team, which had posted a 3–8 record the prior season, to a 7–5 record in 2001 and a 10–3 record in 2002. The 2001 team won the Independence Bowl, which became Alabama's first bowl win after five seasons. The 2002 team finished with a 6–2 conference record, placing first in the West Division of the Southeastern Conference. However, due to NCAA sanctions resulting from violations of the previous Alabama head coach, Mike DuBose, the 2002 team was ineligible for postseason games, including the SEC Championship Game. The turnaround success Franchione made prompted Alabama officials to offer Franchione a 10-year contract extension worth $15 million. Franchione, however, did not sign the offer. Following Alabama's victory over the University of Hawaii and the dismissal of Texas A&M head coach R. C. Slocum, Franchione resigned at Alabama and was named head coach at Texas A&M after publicly stating that he would not leave. His decision was influenced by the NCAA sanctions placed on Alabama, which included a two-year bowl ban, the loss of 21 scholarships over three years, and five years probation. Franchione did not return to Alabama after interviewing for the job, instead informing his players of his decision to accept the job at Texas A&M via video teleconference. Many Alabama fans noted the similarities between Franchione's departure from TCU and how he left Alabama. His departure from Alabama, and his use of video conferencing to inform his players and staff remains, as does his departure at TCU, somewhat controversial.
Upon being hired by Texas A&M, Franchione brought the majority of his coaching staff with him to College Station for the 2003 season. Franchione signed a contract that was set to pay him a yearly salary of $1.7 million through 2010. The Aggies finished the 2003 season with a 4–8 record, including a nationally televised 77–0 loss to Oklahoma, the worst loss in A&M's history. The season also marked the first losing season for the Aggies after 21 years.
In the 2004 season, Franchione attempted the rebuilding process as the team improved to a 7–5 record, and a 5–3 record in conference play, including a 35–34 overtime loss to unranked Baylor at Waco, ending a 13-game winning streak the Aggies had with Baylor and a 32–25 overtime win over the then #25 Texas Tech at Kyle Field, snapping a 3-game skid to the Red Raiders. The Aggies ended up advancing to the Cotton Bowl Classic to play #17 Tennessee, but lost 38–7. Following the bowl game, A&M officials extended Franchione's contract through 2012 and raised his salary to $2 million. In June 2005, prior to the 2005 season, Franchione donated $1 million to the A&M athletic department. The donation went toward the construction of an indoor practice facility, which is now located adjacent to Kyle Field.
In the 2005 season, Franchione's Aggies, who were ranked 17th in the preseason AP Poll, regressed to a 5–6 record. The 2005 Aggie defense ranked 107th nationally (out of 119 Division I NCAA teams) and allowed 443.8 yards per game. This prompted Franchione to dismiss defensive coordinator Carl Torbush. Franchione then hired former Western Michigan head coach Gary Darnell to replace Torbush.
In the 2006 season, the Aggies again rebounded under Franchione, posting a 9–3 regular season record that included Franchione's first win over rival Texas. The 9–3 record also marked the most wins for A&M since 1998. However, in that season's Oklahoma game, which ESPN's College GameDay visited, Franchione was criticized by fans for making a field goal call with 3:28 left in the game. The 18th-ranked Sooners ended up defeating the 21st-ranked Aggies, 17–16. In the postseason, the Aggies faced 20th-ranked California in the Holiday Bowl and lost 45–10.
On September 27, 2007, Franchione discontinued selling a secret email newsletter to athletic boosters who paid US$1,200 annually for team information that Franchione had refused to release to the public. The newsletter, called "VIP Connection," had been written by Franchione's personal assistant, former Kansas City Star columnist Mike McKenzie, and included specific injury reports, recruitment information, and Franchione's critical assessments of players. Started in the fall of 2004, the newsletter attracted 27 recipients, six of whom received the newsletter for free. Twenty of the recipients have been disclosed. The boosters were asked to sign a confidentiality statement to assure the information in the newsletter would not be used for gambling. Though Franchione and McKenzie denied gaining profit from the newsletter, Franchione stated that proceeds went to the company that managed his now-defunct website, coachfran.com. The newsletter was discovered by athletic director Bill Byrne after it was presented to him by a San Antonio Express-News reporter, who had received it through an unidentified A&M booster. Byrne immediately instructed Franchione to discontinue the newsletter, at which time Franchione complied. The last issue of the newsletter, dated September 13, 2007, revealed that Franchione earned a net profit of $37,806.32 from the newsletter. In a press conference the following Tuesday, October 2, Franchione apologized in front of A&M football players and expressed his love for the job and the university, and his desire to "elevate the program to its highest level." A&M players also expressed their support for Franchione as a coach. Shortly after, an investigation had been launched to look into the matter, conducted by Bill Byrne and A&M's NCAA compliance officer, David Batson. The investigation concluded that Franchione violated two NCAA rules and one of the Big 12's "Principles and Standards of Sportsmanship". These findings were in turn reported to the NCAA. The NCAA requires coaches to submit reports that include "athletically related income and benefits from sources outside of the institution", which is also required by Franchione's contract.
On Thursday, October 11, 2007 Texas A&M officials issued a "letter of admonishment" and ordered that the website CoachFran.com be shut down. Additionally, Franchione was instructed to no longer employ "any staff members that could be construed as representing Texas A&M or providing information or reports relative to his position as head coach at Texas A&M". Consequently, the university fired McKenzie. Byrne has been quoted as saying "The Aggies are embarrassed right now. This has been a very unfortunate incident we do not want to experience again." Byrne also stated that the incident would be included in Franchione's performance evaluation at the end of the season.
The discovery of the newsletter led CBS Sportsline (now CBSSports.com) columnist Gregg Doyel to call for Franchione to be fired. Doyel wrote that many of Franchione's columns announced firings of assistant coaches before that assistant was told himself and reported injuries that weren't disclosed to the press. More seriously, Doyel said, his disclosures of injury information violated federal health privacy law, and the entire venture would have also violated federal tax law if Franchione hadn't told the IRS about it. He also suggested that Franchione may have known the newsletter's recipients were using the information to make better-informed bets on Aggie games.
After the Aggies' 34–17 loss at Miami in September 2007, Franchione's coaching abilities were brought into question. On November 6, 2007, ESPN, CBS Sports, the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle all reported that Franchione would not return for the 2008 season, and that Franchione and Texas A&M were working on buyout terms. In response, Texas A&M officials told the Dallas Morning News that the reports were false rumors and that Franchione's performance was to be reviewed at the end of the season. In a press conference the following day, Franchione declined to answer questions regarding his future at A&M.
After Franchione led the Aggies to a 38–30 victory over the 13th-ranked Texas Longhorns, he announced his resignation in the post-game press conference. In the press conference, after he discussed the game, he read out loud a farewell letter that he had prepared beforehand. His last words were "Thank you, and gig 'em." Franchione immediately left the press conference as A&M athletic director Bill Byrne started to speak, with friends and family members following him. The following day, Byrne named defensive coordinator Gary Darnell as interim head coach. Darnell led the Aggies to a 24-17 defeat at the hands of Penn State in the Alamo Bowl on December 29, 2007. On November 26, 2007, three days after Franchione resigned, former Green Bay Packers head coach, and Houston Texans' offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was announced as the new head football coach. On December 7, 2007, the Texas A&M Board of Regents approved a reduced buyout of $4.4 million for Franchione.
Overall performance at Texas A&M
During his five-season tenure at A&M, Franchione did not produce a team that finished higher than third in the Big 12 South. Though he was able to bring recruiting classes that ranked among the top 13 nationally from 2003 to 2005, none of his teams ranked in the postseason AP or Coaches national polls. He also compiled a 4–16 record against ranked teams, and a 4–14 record against Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas Tech. Additionally, he compiled a 19–21 Big 12 record. Franchione's questionable judgement continued to dog him as he left A&M. The two questionable departures from TCU and Alabama, coupled with the newsletter scandal and Franchione's mediocre record at A&M left him without a coaching job after leaving Texas A&M.
Franchione moved to the suburban Austin community of Horseshoe Bay, Texas. In January 2008, he began to look for potential broadcasting jobs, and in July 2008, signed a 16-game contract to serve as a color commentator for ESPN Radio during the 2008 college football season. His debut was the Alabama vs. Clemson game on August 30.
Franchione interviewed for the San Diego State University head coaching job in 2008 when the school fired Chuck Long, and ended up being a finalist for the job alongside then-Ball State head coach (and future Michigan head coach) Brady Hoke and UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker. The job eventually went to Hoke.
Franchione applied for the head coaching position at UNLV, following Mike Sanford's termination as head football coach after the 2009 season. Franchione interviewed with UNLV's Athletic Director Jim Livengood on December 21, 2009 but was not selected.
Following Brad Wright's dismissal, Texas State University engaged Parker Executive Search to help them find their next head football coach. Finalists included former Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator Bobby Jack Wright, former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster, and Franchione. On January 7, 2011, Franchione was named head coach of Texas State's football program and signed a five-year contract valued at $350,000 per year. This was Franchione's second tenure with Texas State, having previously coached at what was then Southwest Texas State in 1990-91. His second tenure at Texas State has been much more successful, as he led Texas State into Football Bowl Subdivision level football in 2012, joining the Western Athletic Conference. Texas State then negotiated membership in the more stable Sun Belt Conference beginning in 2013, after the WAC stopped sponsoring football.
Head coaching record
|Southwestern Moundbuilders (Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference) (1981–1982)|
|Pittsburg St. Gorillas (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1985–1988)|
|1985||Pittsburg St.||8–2||6–1||1st||L NAIA Quarterfinal|
|1986||Pittsburg St.||11–1||7–0||1st||L NAIA Semifinal|
|1987||Pittsburg St.||11–1||7–0||1st||L NAIA Semifinal|
|1988||Pittsburg St.||11–1||7–0||1st||L NAIA Semifinal|
|Pittsburg St. Gorillas (Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1989)|
|1989||Pittsburg St.||12–1||10–0||1st||L NCAA Division II Quarterfinal|
|Southwest Texas St. Bobcats (Southland Conference) (1990–1991)|
|1990||Southwest Texas St.||6–5||2–3||3rd|
|1991||Southwest Texas St.||7–4||4–3||4th|
|New Mexico Lobos (Western Athletic Conference) (1992–1997)|
|1996||New Mexico||6–5||3–5||T–5th (Mountain)|
|1997||New Mexico||9–4||6–2||1st (Mountain)||L Insight.com|
|TCU Horned Frogs (Western Athletic Conference) (1998–2000)|
|1998||TCU||7–5||4–4||T–5th (Mountain)||W Sun|
|1999||TCU||8–4||5–2||T–1st||W Mobile Alabama|
|2000*||TCU||10–1||7–1||T–1st||16[n 1]||13[n 1]|
|TCU:||25–10||16–7||*Did not coach bowl game.|
|Alabama Crimson Tide (Southeastern Conference) (2001–2002)|
|2001||Alabama||7–5||4–4||T–3rd (West)||W Independence|
|Texas A&M Aggies (Big 12 Conference) (2003–2007)|
|2003||Texas A&M||4–8||2–6||5th (South)|
|2004||Texas A&M||7–5||5–3||T–3rd (South)||L Cotton|
|2005||Texas A&M||5–6||3–5||4th (South)|
|2006||Texas A&M||9–4||5–3||3rd (South)||L Holiday|
|2007*||Texas A&M||7–5||4–4||T–4th (South)|
|Texas A&M:||32–28||19–21||*Did not coach bowl game.|
|Texas St. Bobcats (NCAA Division I FCS Independent) (2011)|
|Texas St. Bobcats (Western Athletic Conference) (2012)|
|Texas St. Bobcats (Sun Belt Conference) (2013–present)|
|Southwest Texas St. / Texas St.:||36–34||15–18|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
- List of college football coaches with 200 wins
- List of college football head coaches with non-consecutive tenure
- Wife helps Franchione balance life on, off the football field; AggieSports; Published December 26, 2004
- "Team Records". Southwestern College Moundbuilders. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
- "Pitt State Football Records" (PDF). Pittsburg State Gorillas. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
- Campbell, Steve (2007-10-28). "There's no need to sugarcoat it anymore: Franchione must go". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
- "New Mexico Bowl History". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2007-11-06.
- CNNSI.com - 2000 NCAA Football Bowls - Mobile - TCU's Patterson set for head coaching debut - Tuesday December 19, 2000 02:51 PM
- "TCU's Tomlinson finishes distant fourth, feels like 'fluke'". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
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- "Texas A&M coach ready to end moving days". Associated Press (Sports Illustrated). 2004-07-28. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Eagle Staff (2007-11-24). "Coach Fran timeline at Texas A&M". Bryan-College Station Eagle. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
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- "College Football: List of A&M's VIP Connections recipients". San Antonio Express-News. 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-10-13.
- Zwerneman, Brent (2007-09-27). "Big 12 Football: Franchione stops selling A&M info". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- Associated Press (2007-09-28). "Texas A&M coach Franchione sold insider knowledge to boosters in newsletter". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- Wetzel, Dan (2007-09-28). "Paper trail". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- Harris, Terrance (2007-09-28). "Franchione stops selling inside info to big boosters". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- Davis, Bryan (2007-09-28). "A&M coach sold insider info to boosters". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- Davis, Bryan (2007-09-30). "Franchione tells players newsletter a mistake". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- Miller, John (2007-11-06). "A&M admonishes Franchione". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 2007-10-12.[dead link]
- Davis, Brian (2007-11-15). "A&M forwards 'VIP' report to NCAA". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
- "Source says Texas A&M, Franchione discussing settlement". ESPN. 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- Associated Press (2007-10-05). "A&M coach admonished for producing secretive newsletter". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
- Miller, John (2007-10-11). "A&M reprimands Franchione, shuts down his Web site". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 2007-10-12.[dead link]
- Doyel, Gregg (2007-09-30). "Start spreading the newsletter: Pink slip for Franchione, now". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- Cessna, Robert (2007-10-01). "Cessna: Talk around town all about Franchione". Bryan-College Station Eagle. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- Harris, Terrance (2007-09-27). "Franchione fends off negative vibes". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- Riggs, Randy (2007-09-27). "Dark clouds in Aggieland". Austin American-Statesman. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- Burch, Jimmy (2007-09-24). "Franchione safe for now, but not forever". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 2007-09-28.[dead link]
- Taylor, Jean-Jacques (2007-09-21). "Aggies trip on big stage again". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
- Dienhart, Tom. "Franchione's breach of trust won't be forgiven". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- Davis, Bryan (2007-11-05). "Texas A&M regent denies Franchione buyout reports". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- "Franchione dodges questions about his future at Texas A&M". The Associated Press (USA Today). 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2007-11-06.
- Davis, Brian (2007-11-24). "Out with a bang: Franchione resigns after A&M upsets UT". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- Barron, David (2007-11-24). "Franchione resigns as Texas A&M head coach". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- "Darnell Named Interim Head Football Coach" (Press release). Texas A&M Athletics. 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- Duncan, Chris (2007-11-26). "Texas A&M hires Sherman to replace Franchione". Associated Press (Houston Chronicle). Retrieved 2007-11-26.[dead link]
- Zwerneman, Brent (2007-12-07). "College Football: A&M approves $4.4 million buyout of ex-coach". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- "2003 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
- Dodd, Dennis (2007-11-05). "Peter principle: Franchione has been working over his head". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Zwerneman, Brent (2007-11-08). "Big 12 Football: Where did Fran fail?". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
- "TV-Radio Notebook: Franchione accepts ‘ex-coach’ label".
- "Franchione to work for ESPN".
- "Franchione would welcome right opportunity".
- "SDSU gives Franchione VIP treatment".
- "Upon intro, questions abound for SDSU's latest football coach".
- Greene, Ryan (November 19, 2009). "Franchione emerges as potential early candidate for UNLV football post". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
- Greene, Ryan (December 18, 2009). "Hauck, Franchione set to interview for UNLV football coaching post". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
- "Texas State coach search gains steam". San Antonio Express News. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
- "Franchione returns to coaching at Texas State". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-01-08.[dead link]
- "The Dennis Franchione file". The Kansas City Star. 2008-01-26. Archived from the original on 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-01-27.