Rising Stars: Dennis Franchione

Franchione’s return to Texas State
readies Bobcat football for the WAC

By Billi London-Gray

From his roots in the small town of Girard, Kansas, to his leadership roles in some of NCAA football’s most prestigious programs, Dennis Franchione has spent his career shaping the lives of young men on the gridiron.

Starting his career as a high school football coach in the Midwest, Franchione moved to college coaching in 1978. From 1990-91, he led the Bobcats to two victorious seasons. Now, after a 20-year absence, “Coach Fran” has had a warm homecoming to Texas State University.

In January 2011, Franchione rejoined Bobcat athletics as head coach for the football program. He signed a five-year contract with the university, and says he plans “to culminate” his successful career — his overall record is 187-101-2 as a collegiate head coach — with a final run in San Marcos as the Bobcats move to the Western Athletic Conference and Football Bowl Subdivision competition in 2012.

“My focus now is giving Texas State a good, solid foundation as we make this transition,” he says. “We need to get ready to win the WAC, and we can do that here. I believe that, and that’s why I came.”

With strong, top-down backing from the university and the excitement of players and fans flowing, Franchione is stoked for the road ahead.

“Throughout my entire coaching career, when I’ve been around visionary people, I’ve been invigorated and excited and enthused and passionate and ready to go,” he says. “I know this is an unbelievable institution and there’s no limit to what it can accomplish academically, and I know there’s no limit to what we can accomplish athletically.”

Read more of Franchione’s story in the Rising Stars archives.

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