Friday, January 07, 2011

A new Fran's in town

I know everyone is expecting me to post something about the Cotton Bowl, and I might, but I'm too wound up over that game to think straight. So instead of the Aggies, I'll talk about Texas State football instead. I just attended quite possibly the most energetic and positive press conference I've ever seen at Texas State. It certainly boasted the most media, and about 200 people filled the endzone complex for the announcement, which is a really good turnout.

The enthusiasm was for Bobcat football and the announcement of the team's new head coach: Dennis Franchione.

Franchione, who has served as head coach at New Mexico, TCU, Alabama and Texas A&M, is making a return to Texas State where he coached in 1990-91, earning a 13-9 record. His overall career record is 187-101-2, and that includes his ill-fated stint in College Station.

“Kim and I loved our time at Texas State - the people, San Marcos and the University, but we have often said it was too short,” Franchione said. “We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to return."

The press conference was attended by quite a few former players from Franchione's first stint with the Bobcats, plus--in a good recruiting move--several area high school coaches. Also in the audience was Franchione's son, Brad, who recently resigned as head coach at Blinn College, where he led the Buccaneers to two junior college national championships in 2006 and 2009. Heavy speculation has Brad coming to Texas State as defensive coordinator:

Franchione beat out what has got to be the most talent-laden applicant pool Texas State has ever seen. THe prospective candidates included former Boise State and Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, former Minnesota coach Tim Brewster, former New Mexico head coach and current San Diego State assistant Rocky Long and Oklahoma assistant Bobby Jack Wright. At various times, former Tennessee head man Phil Fulmer's name was in contention, as was former A&M coach Jackie Sherrill. Texas State's impending jump to Division I-A is partly responsible for the interest, as well as the serious facilities upgrades the athletic department is investing in. Ultimately, Franchione will coach in a Bobcat Stadium that looks like this:

It won't be the biggest--less than 50,000 capacity when all is said and done--but that's definitely going to be a nice stadium. Fran's five-year contract with a base salary of $350,000 per year and other incentives ain't bad either. Despite inconsistent performance on the field at his last coaching gig, Franchione still posted a winning record at A&M and beat Texas twice in his final two years. I suspect he'll be a much better fit in San Marcos. He has the advantage of already being familiar with the area, and he has established recruiting ties with high schools state-wide. His name recognition alone will earn Texas State consideration from some players who'd never have given the Bobcats a second thought in the past, and the move up into the WAC (even though that league is but a shadow of its 80s glory days) will attract others. I am cautiously optimistic that this will pan out well for all parties. Go Bobcats!

Now Playing: Pink Floyd The Division Bell

No comments:

Post a Comment