|Position:||Assistant Coach - Running Backs/Recruiting|
Carl Franks has spent three seasons as USF's Director of Player Personnel after spending six seasons as the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. In his current role, Franks oversees the program's recruiting efforts, a responsibility in which he proved ultra-successful throughout his career.
Franks was no stranger to state of Florida football when he joined the Bulls in 2004. After four-plus years of experience as a Division I-A head coach, Franks returned to the state where he made a name for himself as an assistant coach on the offensively dominated Steve Spurrier teams at the University of Florida in the 1990s.
In 2004 and 2005, Franks tutored Bulls running back Andre Hall, a junior college transfer who came to USF at the same time Franks arrived. In those two years, Franks helped mold Hall into USF’s all-time leading rusher with back-to-back single season rushing record seasons.
In 2007, Franks helped orchestrate a USF offense that broke the program records for total offense (5,383) and yards per game (414.1).
Among specifically the running backs, the tandem of junior Ben Williams (6) and freshman Mike Ford (12) combined for more touchdowns (18) than any duo in school history. The ground attack racked up a 185 yards per game average and scored a total of 30 rushing touchdowns.
His efforts as recruiting coordinator were on full display during the 2009 signing period, when USF cracked the national top 25 rankings for the first time ever with highlight players like Ryne Giddens, Kayvon Webster, Sam Barrington and Jason Pierre-Paul.
A 1983 Duke graduate, Franks was named head coach there on his 38th birthday - December 1, 1998 - and he went on to lead the Blue Devils for 52 games into the 2003 season. The former football letterman at Duke returned to Durham following nine seasons at Florida, where he helped the Gators to eight bowl games along with the 1996 national championship.
At Duke, Franks continued a strong commitment to academics. The reality of Duke’s academic success came to the forefront in June 2003 when the football program earned the Academic Achievement Award from the American Football Coaches Association for the 11th time. No other school in the nation has garnered the honor more than six times. The 2003 award was based on the graduation rate for the class entering college in the fall of 1997, and Duke led the way with a perfect 100 percent standard.
The commitment to academics is one Franks and the entire USF coaching staff stress in recruiting efforts for the Bulls.
In his inaugural season as a head coach in 1999, Franks gave Duke-faithful signs of a successful future, as his first head coaching victory was a come-from-behind double-overtime win over Virginia in Charlottesville. It marked Duke’s first victory at Virginia since Franks was a Blue Devil player in 1981.
The Blue Devils notched another ACC road victory in 1999, defeating the Maryland Terrapins in another thriller, 25-22, while Franks’ first victory within the friendly confines of Wallace Wade Stadium came over conference rival Wake Forest, 48-35. Included in the win over the Demon Deacons was a school-record 34-point first quarter scoring spree by the Blue Devils.
Franks was also honored during his inaugural season by being selected as the head coach of the 1999 Gray squad in the annual Blue-Gray Classic held in Montgomery, Ala., on Christmas Day. Franks returned to his alma mater after spending a combined 12 years as an assistant coach under the ultra-successful Spurrier. Franks worked with Spurrier from 1987-89 at Duke and then the next nine seasons at the University of Florida.
It was at Florida where Franks and the rest of the Gator program landed in the national spotlight. While there, Franks was an integral part of five SEC championship teams, including the 1996 squad that captured the national championship at the Sugar Bowl. In his tenure with the Gators, Franks helped Florida win 25-straight league games from 1994-97 for the second-longest streak in conference history and became just one of two schools in SEC history to win four consecutive league championships (1993-96).
In all, Franks has coached 10 squads that played in bowl games, including Duke’s 1989 All American Bowl berth versus Texas Tech. That appearance capped off one of Duke’s greatest seasons in the past 20 years, with the team winning its last seven games for an 8-3 record and a share of the 1989 ACC championship.
Franks spent the majority of his time at Florida as the school’s running backs coach and recruiting coordinator - both areas of strength for the elite program. He coached two Gator running backs who gained over 3,000 career rushing yards in Errict Rhett and Fred Taylor. Rhett finished his career as the only offensive back in NCAA I-A history to rush for over 4,100 yards and catch 150 passes while Taylor rushed for 3,075 yards in his college career and was the ninth overall selection in the 1998 NFL Draft. In his seven years as a running backs coach, a Gator back rushed for over 100 yards in a game 44 times.
Florida ranked among the nation’s top 15 teams in total offense six times in those eight years Franks was coaching on the offensive side of the ball. He was the team’s inside linebackers coach in 1994. And that was also successful as the stop unit set a Gator record by allowing just 84.6 yards rushing per game, the fifth-best mark in the nation.
As recruiting coordinator from 1991-93, he helped put together the nation’s top recruiting class in 1992 according to Super Prep and Blue Chip Report. The incoming classes of 1993 and 1994 were also highly regarded, both ranking in the nation’s top 10.
In 1996, the Gators rolled to a 12-1 overall record which included a perfect 8-0 regular season ledger in the SEC. After closing out the regular season with a 24-21 loss to Florida State, Florida rebounded with a 45-30 victory over Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Then came the rematch with the Seminoles, where the Gators avenged the earlier loss with a 52-20 win to claim the national title.
Franks, a three-year letterman from 1980-82, helped lead Duke to the 1989 ACC championship as the school’s running backs coach. That year, running back Randy Cuthbert became Duke’s first 1,000-yard rusher in nearly 20 years while the Blue Devil offense gained a school-record 5,519 yards. After dropping three of its first four games, the 1989 Blue Devil squad reeled off seven straight wins by averaging over 37 points per game during that stretch. Duke also closed out the regular season with consecutive victories over in-state opponents Wake Forest (52-35), N.C. State (35-26) and North Carolina (41-0).
As a player at Duke, Franks saw action at both running back and tight end and was selected as an academic All-ACC performer in 1982. He was also the winner of the Mike Suglia Award, given to the team’s top sophomore scholar-athlete. He graduated from Duke in 1983 with a degree in psychology.
Franks was born Dec. 1, 1960, and has two daughters, Brittany and Courtney.