Joe Francis (American football)

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Joe Francis
Joe Francis (American football).jpg
Date of birth: (1936-04-21)April 21, 1936
Place of birth: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date of death: April 15, 2013(2013-04-15) (aged 76)
Place of death: Kaneohe, Hawaii
Career information
Position(s): Halfback, quarterback
College: Oregon State
NFL Draft: 1958 / Round: 5/ Pick 51
As player:
Green Bay Packers
Montreal Alouettes
Career stats
Playing stats at

Joseph Charles Naekauna "Joe" Francis, Jr. (April 21, 1936 – April 15, 2013) was a gridiron football halfback and quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL). Following his retirement from professional football, Francis became a head football coach at the high school level in the state of Hawaii. Two of Francis's sons have played professional football in the NFL.


Early years[edit]

Joseph Charles Naekauna Francis, known to his friends as "Joe," was born April 21, 1936 in Honolulu, Hawaii.[1] Francis attended Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Hawaii and starred in football.

College career[edit]

Francis attended Oregon State, where he played left halfback from 1954 to 1957 for Kip Taylor and then for Tommy Prothro.[1] Francis led Oregon State to the 1957 Rose Bowl in his Junior season, where they lost to Iowa, 35–19. Francis rushed for 73 yards[1] and contributed 207 yards of total offense in the losing effort.[2]

Francis was named the team MVP for the 1956 and 1957 seasons.[2] He won the Pop Warner Trophy as the outstanding senior player on the Pacific Coast and the Hayward Award as the outstanding athlete in the state of Oregonin 1957.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Francis was drafted in the fifth round of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.[1] Francis played two seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the Packers as Bart Starr's backup under the legendary Vince Lombardi.

Francis also played two seasons in the Canadian Football League (CFL) with the Montreal Alouettes, from 1961 to 1962.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Upon retiring from the NFL, Francis returned to Hawaii to become a physical Education teacher and football coach at Pearl City High School.[1] He retired in 2001.[2]

Francis married three times and fathered nine sons and two daughters. One of these sons, Jon Francis, played running back for the Los Angeles Rams while another, Ikaika Alama-Francis, was a defensive end for the University of Hawaii, graduating in 2006. Ikaika was drafted in 2007 as a defensive end by the Detroit Lions and is currently a free agent.

Death and honors[edit]

Francis died April 15, 2013 in his native Hawaii.[1] He was 76 years old at the time of his death.

Francis was elected to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Former OSU Halfback Dies," Corvallis [OR] Gazette-Times, April 30, 2013; pg. B1.
  2. ^ a b c Can Joe Francis Start at Quarterback Today?
  3. ^ "Beavers in the Pros" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-01-04. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Joseph Charles Naekauna 'Joe' Francis Jr.," Oldest Living Pro Football Players,

External links[edit]