In a move you don’t see every day — or every 10,000 — Cal offensive coordinator Tony Franklin has left the staff to become the offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee.
“It has been an honor to represent the world’s No. 1 public education institution as the offensive coordinator for one of the nation’s best offenses,” Franklin said in a statement. “The young men I was honored to lead shattered the Cal record books with an exciting brand of football, unlike any previously performed in Cal’s rich history, culminating with a 2015 bowl game victory.”
Added head coach Sonny Dykes: “I appreciate all of the contributions that Tony has made over the last three seasons to make our football program successful and all that he has accomplished throughout his career including the last six years we have spent working together at Cal and Louisiana Tech. I will miss him both as a colleague and a friend, but at this point in his career he has decided that this is the best move for him and his family. I respect and honor that wholeheartedly, and I wish both Tony and his family nothing but the best.”
The key statement, however, comes further down in Franklin’s eight-paragraph statement comes here: “I wanted this to be the final stop of my coaching career which began in 1979 and has enjoyed parts of five decades. However, it wasn’t meant to be.”
Franklin's contract at Cal was set to expire on April 30.
— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) January 22, 2016
Franklin, 58, holds coordinator experience at Kentucky, Troy, Auburn and Louisiana Tech, plus a one-season stint as the offensive coordinator under Rick Stockstill at Middle Tennessee.
Cal’s offensive numbers were up tremendously under Franklin’s reign — from 55th nationally in yards per play the year prior to his arrival to seventh this year — but it’s hard to say how much credit goes to Franklin, Dykes or future first-round quarterback Jared Goff. But rather than rebuild with the Bears’ next quarterback, Franklin inherits one of college football’s best young signal callers in Brent Stockstill. As a freshman in 2015, Stockstill completed two-thirds of his passes for 4,005 yards with on 8.2 yards per attempt with 30 touchdowns against nine interceptions — good for the nation’s 17th-best passer rating, and best among all underclassmen.
Franklin interviewed for the offensive coordinator job at Texas last month, and was a finalist for the North Texas head coaching vacancy that went to Seth Littrell.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.