Joe Francis (American football)
|Date of birth:||April 21, 1936|
|Place of birth:||Honolulu, Hawaii|
|Date of death:||April 15, 2013(aged 76)|
|Place of death:||Kaneohe, Hawaii|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||195 lb (88 kg)|
|High school:||Honolulu (HI) Kamehameha|
|NFL Draft:||1958 / Round: 5 / Pick: 51|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Joseph Charles Naekauna "Joe" Francis, Jr. (April 21, 1936 – April 15, 2013) was an American football halfback and quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL). Following his playing career, he was a high school football head coach in his native Hawaii.
Francis played college football in the Pacific Coast Conference at Oregon State College in Corvallis, where he was a left halfback from 1954 to 1957 for head coaches Kip Taylor and Tommy Prothro. As a junior in 1956, Francis led the Beavers to the Rose Bowl, where they lost to Iowa, 35–19. He rushed for 73 yards and contributed 207 yards of total offense in the losing effort.
Francis was named the team MVP for the 1956 and 1957 seasons. He won the Pop Warner Trophy as the outstanding senior player on the Pacific Coast, and the Hayward Award as the outstanding amateur athlete in the state of Oregon in 1957.
Francis was selected in the fifth round of the 1958 NFL draft, 51st overall, by the Green Bay Packers. This was one of the top drafts by a team in NFL history; ahead of Francis, the Packers selected linebacker Dan Currie (3rd), fullback Jim Taylor (15th), linebacker Ray Nitschke (36th), and guard Jerry Kramer (39th).
As a rookie in 1958 under first-year head coach Scooter McLean, Francis started one game as quarterback, the season finale, and played behind Babe Parilli and Bart Starr in the Packers' worst-ever season, finishing with a league low 1–10–1. McLean's one-year contract was not renewed; he resigned days after the season and was succeeded in January 1959 by Vince Lombardi. Francis saw limited action that season, relieving starter Lamar McHan on November 1, then didn't play again, as Starr became the starter. Francis broke his left leg early in training camp in 1960, ending his season, then incurred a knee injury in an intrasquad game in 1961, and was waived.
Upon retiring from pro football, Francis returned to Corvallis and was an assistant at Oregon State under head coach Prothro in 1963 and 1964. He then returned to Hawaii to become a physical education teacher and football coach at Pearl City High School, and retired in 2001.
Francis married three times and fathered eleven children: nine sons and two daughters.
A son, Jon Francis (b.1964), played running back for Colorado State in the WAC and Boise State in the Big Sky Conference. He was selected in the seventh round (184th overall) of the 1986 NFL draft by the New York Giants and played for the Los Angeles Rams in 1987. Another son, Ikaika Alama-Francis (b.1984), was a defensive end for the University of Hawaii and was selected in the second round (58th overall) of the 2007 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. He played five seasons in the league, two with Detroit and three with the Miami Dolphins.
Death and honors
- "Joseph Charles Naekauna "Joe" Francis, Jr.". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. (obituary). April 30, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
- Christl, Cliff (November 27, 2002). "Whatever happened to: Joe Francis?". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 3C.
- "Former OSU Halfback Dies," Corvallis [OR] Gazette-Times, April 30, 2013; pg. B1.
- Strite, Dick (January 2, 1957). "Hawks hammer Beavers, 39-19, in Rose Bowl". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 2B.
- Boni, Bill (January 2, 1957). "Hawkeyes humble OSC, 35 to 19; 'It's all over' after 8 minutes". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. 14.
- Can Joe Francis Start at Quarterback Today? OregonLive.com.
- "Joe Francis given award". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. January 29, 1958. p. 12B.
- "Packers sign Joe Francis". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. February 20, 1958. p. 1D.
- Strite, Dick (February 7, 1958). "Oregon State's Joe Francis named athlete of year at Hayward banquet". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 3B.
- "Francis named Oregon's top athlete of 1957". Bend Bulletin. Oregon. United Press. February 7, 1958. p. 3.
- Wolf, Bob (May 3, 1979). "Packers' 1958 draft may have been greatest ever". Milwaukee Journal. p. 3, part 3.
- "Joe Francis gets big chance against L A Rams". Bend Bulletin. Oregon. UPI. December 13, 1958. p. 3.
- "Packers' Joe Francis suffers leg fracture". Milwaukee Journal. July 30, 1960. p. 12.
- "Packers lose Joe Francis". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. July 31, 1960. p. 2, sports.
- "Joe Francis bitter at cut by Packers". Milwaukee Journal. UPI. September 6, 1961. p. 21, part 2.
- "Beavers in the Pros" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-01-04.[dead link]
- "Halter approves Alouette trade". Montreal Gazette. June 7, 1962. p. 26.
- "Trimble wants double job". Ottawa Citizen. Canadian Press. February 1, 1963. p. 18.
- Strite, Dick (January 13, 1965). "Changes roughest on aides". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1C.
- "Joseph Charles Naekauna 'Joe' Francis Jr.," Oldest Living Pro Football Players, www.oldestlivingprofootball.com/