The Second Coming
January 6, 2011
Dennis Franchione will be returning to Texas State to coach the Bobcats for the second time in his 30 year coaching career.
On what is close to the 21st anniversary of his first stop in San Marcos Franchione will now be back in the driver’s seat at TXST. Fran made his first stop in San Marcos in December 1989.
The last time Dennis Franchione was at Texas State the Athletic Director who hired him was Bill Miller. Franchione accepted the position as head coach in December 1989 just 15 days after it was vacated by John O’Hara who had accumulated a 36-41 record over 7 seasons at then SWT. In his final season O’Hara went 5-6.
Entering the 1990 season Franchione had been making a bit of a name for himself in the college ranks. Coming to San Marcos from Pittsburg State, Franchione had compiled the 2nd best winning percentage of any active head coach in the college ranks with a 67-10-2 record (.861).
When asked in a 1990 interview about his move to then SWT and the jump to coaching DI-AA football Franchione said, “It was time for me to have a new challenge and take the next step. Southwest Texas appeared to be the right opportunity and the right challenge at the right time. As far as I’m concerned I came here with the goal of putting together a solid foundation for a winning program on the Division I-AA level.”
If that isn’t enough nostalgia for you, David Bailiff was an assistant coach under Franchione coaching the defensive line, and Reggie Rivers (who would go on to play for the Denver Broncos) was the star full back.
Oddly enough Franchione’s first home test in the maroon & gold came against soon to be Western Athletic Conference foe University of Idaho Vandals. In the first ever meeting between the two universities the Bobcats lost a heart breaker at home when the Vandals scored the last 17 points of the game in the forth quarter and walk out of the then 4.4 million dollar Bobcat Stadium with a 38-35 victory in front of the 9,431 fans in attendance that day.
Franchione went on to lead the Bobcats to their first winning record in 5 seasons with a 6-5 record with 4 loses by a margin of 3 points or less. He followed that up with a 7-4 record in 1991 before bolting to New Mexico for the then DI-A ranks.
Fast forward to Texas State Football in 2011. A lot has change since Franchione was here 21 years ago. The university has a new name, new look, new facilities (or newly remodeled) and a FBS Western Athletic Conference invite for 2012.
The student body at Texas State is the driving force behind the move to big time collegiate athletics due in large part to their vote to give a huge boost in athletics funding through student fees. It’s clear they want to not only compete at the highest level but they also want to win.
It is expected Texas State University will announce the second coming of Dennis Franchione to Bobcat Football tomorrow (Friday, Jan 7th) at 2pm.
Since Franchione’s last stint at Texas State the coach has made pit stops at New Mexico, TCU, Alabama and Texas A&M. Franchione who is now 59 years old holds a 187-101-2 mark as a head coach. In his last coaching position at Texas A&M he accumulated a 32-28 record over 5 season.
The only questions that remain now is does Franchione have what it takes to lead Texas State into the Football Bowl Subdivsion and if so, how long will he stay put?