Beckie Francis

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Beckie Francis
Sport(s) Women's basketball
Current position
Title Head coach
Biographical details
Born (1965-03-31) March 31, 1965 (age 53)
Playing career
? Colgate
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1994–1997 Stony Brook
1997–2002, 2005–2013 Oakland
Head coaching record
Overall 257–210 (.550)

Beckie Sue Francis (born March 31, 1965) is a basketball coach, most recently head coach of the Oakland University women's basketball team. At Oakland, she compiled a 227–162 (.584) record, and has a 257–210 (.550) career head coaching record. She coached two Kodak All-Americans and 11 all-conference players during her tenure. Francis led Oakland to three consecutive postseason appearances, with two NCAA tournament bids and one WNIT appearance.

Francis played college basketball at Colgate University where she was a four-year starter and three-time team captain.[1] She was an assistant coach at the University at Buffalo for four years. From 1994–1996, she was the head coach at Stony Brook University, then a NCAA Division II program, where she compiled a 30–48 record. Oakland hired Francis as the program was making the transition from Division II to Division I.

Francis coached at Oakland from 1997–2013, taking a three-year sabbatical from coaching for health reasons between the 2001–2002 and 2005–2006 seasons.[2] Her teams won the conference tournament championship twice, and the conference regular season championship three times. The 2006 season where the Grizzlies went 19–13, featured a school record 12-game winning streak. She earned her second conference coach of the year award during the 2006 season. At the time of her hiring at Oakland on July 1, 1997, her salary was $50,000; by July 1, 2012 it had been increased to $126,381 along with a 15% performance bonus totaling $15,703.[2][3] Her players did well academically, earning her teams high marks in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate. Francis' teams placed in the WBCA Top-25 for team GPA Nationally for six consecutive seasons from the 2007-08 season through the 2012-13 season.[1][4]

In October 2012, Francis revealed in an interview with the Associated Press that she had been sexually abused by her father between the ages of 4 and 13. That winter she testified before the education committee of the Michigan House of Representatives and later lobbied representatives in support of Erin's Law, bipartisan legislation allowing schools to educate students about sexual abuse. For her work in this area she received national acclaim, and in April 2013, during the NCAA women's Final Four, she was the recipient of the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award, given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, for demonstrating "extraordinary courage while facing adversity in life."[1]

In 1999, Francis married then-president of Oakland University, Gary Russi.[2] She was fired with cause in June 2013, on the same day her husband retired as Oakland president.[5] Despite the separation, Russi and Francis have remained closely connected with the school and attended the inauguration for current President Geoge W. Hynd as VIP guests.[6]

The school released a statement that an investigation began in April after concerns about her conduct and behavior, and that Francis had been terminated with cause.[2] A follow up article by the Detroit Free Press investigated the allegations, noting interviews with former players.[7] However the paper published a retraction of the story on May 11, 2014.[8]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Stony Brook University (Division III Independent) (1994–1995)
1994–1995 Stony Brook 13–12
Stony Brook University (NECC) (1994–1997)
1995–1996 Stony Brook 7–19 5–15
1996–1997 Stony Brook 10–17 6–12
Stony Brook: 30–48 11–27
Oakland (Division I Independent) (1997–1999)
1997–1998 Oakland 20–7
1998–1999 Oakland 14–13
Oakland (The Summit League) (1999–2013)
1999–2000 Oakland 19–10 13–3 1st
2000–2001 Oakland 20–10 12–4 1st
2001–2002 Oakland 17–14 8–6 T-2nd NCAA first round
2005–2006 Oakland 15–16 8–8 T-5th NCAA first round
2006–2007 Oakland 19–13 12–2 1st WNIT first round
2007–2008 Oakland 20–10 12–6 T-2nd
2008–2009 Oakland 26–7 16–2 2nd WNIT first round
2009–2010 Oakland 17–13 14–4 T-2nd
2010–2011 Oakland 20–12 12–6 T-3rd
2011–2012 Oakland 11–17 7–11 T-6th
2012–2013 Oakland 9–20 3–13 9th
Oakland: 227–162 117–65
Total: 257–210

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ a b c McCabe, Mick; Snyder, Mark (July 21, 2013). "Players say ex-Oakland women's basketball coach Beckie Francis fixated on weight, pushed Christianity, used intimidation". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d McCabe, Mike (June 21, 2013). "Oakland says Beckie Francis fired with cause". USA Today. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Snyder, Mark (June 13, 2013). "Oakland fires coach Beckie Francis". USA Today. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  6. ^ "George Hynd inaugurated as sixth Oakland University president". Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  7. ^ "Detroit Free Press article".
  8. ^ "Detroit Free Press Retraction".

External links[edit]