|High School:||Caldwell County HS|
|Alma Mater:||Murray State (1979)|
Tony Franklin is in his third season as Cal’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2015 and this season has also added the tutoring of the running backs to his duties for the first time at Cal. Franklin’s offense has been a record-setting group that has been among the nation’s best in his first two campaigns at Cal with a bright outlook for its third season in 2015 with over 80 percent of the team’s offensive production in the following categories in 2014 scheduled to return – passing (99.7%), total offense (99.3%), rushing (98.4%), all-purpose (89.6%), touchdowns (88.5%) and receiving (84.6%).
Cal set or equaled nine single-season school or modern-era records on the offense side of the ball in 2014 in its second season under Franklin’s leadership. The Bears established single-season records for passing yards (4,152), passing touchdowns (37), total yards per game (495.2 ypg) and first downs passing (188). Cal also set modern-era school records for points (459), scoring average (38.2 ppg) and touchdowns (61) that were second all-time behind the 1920 team (510 points, 56.7 ppg, 72 touchdowns), while tying modern-era records for PAT (56) and PAT attempts (57). Cal’s 5,942 yards of total offense in 2014 was also second in school history. In addition, the Bears became the first Cal team in the modern era to score 55 or more points in a game three times including 40 or more five times and 30 or more on 10 occasions.
Cal ranked in the top 25 nationally in a total of seven offensive categories in 2014 including passing offense (6th, 346.0 ypg), scoring offense (10th, 38.3 ppg), total offense (13th, 495.2 ypg), fourth-down conversion percentage (14th, 67.9%, 19-28), first downs offense (19th, 319), third-down conversions (23rd, 46.1%) and team passing efficiency (24th, 145.77).
Franklin’s first offensive unit at Cal in 2013 set single-season school records for passing yards (3,977), pass completions (368) and total plays (1,046), with the passing yards mark being broken in 2014. The passing offense finished third in the Pac-12 and 10th in the nation with an average of 331.4 yards per game that was also the best in school history before being surpassed in 2014. Cal’s 5,443 yards of total offense in 2013 is the fourth-highest total in school history and its average of 453.6 yards per game ranks fifth.
“Tony and I share a similar vision for what we want our offense to look like,” head coach Sonny Dykes said. “The most important thing is that we both want to figure out a way to move the football, score points and win games. We’ve done it different ways in the past and the great thing about Tony is that he just wants to win. He doesn’t care how we do it. That’s the basis for building a good program is to have unselfish people and he does a great job of doing that.”
“The future for Cal football and this offense has never been brighter,” Franklin said. “I’m excited to see this evolve into a championship program. Year two saw dramatic improvement in offensive production and we expect to be even better in year three.”
“After living in Berkeley for a couple of years, and working in the Cal community I’m more convinced than ever that there isn’t a better opportunity for young people to receive the world’s best academic opportunity, coupled with an exciting championship brand of football and life!” Franklin added.
National honors candidate Jared Goff has been a huge reason for the team’s improvement and developed tremendously under Franklin’s guidance, setting 19 school records and putting up huge numbers over the last two seasons. Goff has already registered all-time school marks with 12 career 300-yard passing performances and 17 250-yard passing games, while his 636 completions are second on the school’s all-time list. He is also third all-time with 7,481 passing yards, 53 passing touchdowns, 1,040 pass attempts and 7,375 yards of total offense, as well as fourth with a 135.13 passer efficiency rating. Goff also owns all-time school records for consecutive 300-yard passing games (6) and most consecutive passes without an interception (185).
Goff set 12 single-season, single-game or single-play school records in 2014 including passing yards (3,973), most yardage gained (3,973), passing touchdowns (35), touchdowns responsible for (35), 300-yard passing games (7), consecutive 300-yard passing games (6), most consecutive passes without an interception (185) and total offense (3,929). He completed 316-of-509 passes (62.1%) with seven interceptions for a 147.59 passer efficiency rating that was the fourth-best single-season mark in school history. His 2014 totals for passing yardage and touchdown passes are also both eighth on the all-time Pac-12 single-season rankings. Goff also had three single-game school records in 2014 with 527 passing yards against Washington State, and seven touchdown passes in regulation and seven touchdowns responsible for against Colorado, while adding a school-best 92-yard completion to Daniel Lasco in the same contest.
Goff also ranked among the nation’s top 10 in six individual categories in 2014 including passing touchdowns (5th), passing yards (5th), passing yards per game (5th, 331.1 ypg), completions per game (5th, 26.33 cpg), total offense (8th, 327.4 ypg) and points responsible for per game (9th, 18.0 ppg).
Franklin developed Goff as a 2013 true freshmen when he started all 12 games and became the first true freshman quarterback in school history to start a season-opener. Goff set school records in passing yards (3,508), most yardage gained (3,508), total offense (3,446), completions (320), pass attempts (531) and total plays (590) in his first season as the Bears’ signal caller before eclipsing the first three in 2014. Goff also finished the 2013 season among the nation’s top 25 in completions per game (6th, 26.67 cpg), passing yards per game (12th, 292.3 ypg), passing yards (18th) and total offense (24th, 287.2 ypg).
Goff has thrown to a prolific group of wide receivers the last two seasons with all of his primary targets from last season other than Chris Harper returning in 2015.
Cal had three players finish the season with over 50 catches – Kenny Lawler (54), Harper (52) and Bryce Treggs (52) – for the first time in school history in 2014. The Bears also had four players with more than 45 receptions, adding Stephen Anderson (46) to the group and eight with 20 or more with the addition of Daniel Lasco (33), Maurice Harris (25), Trevor Davis (24) and Darius Powe (20). Lawler also led the team in both yards receiving (701) and touchdown receptions (9).
Treggs (77) and Harper (70) were Goff’s primary receivers in 2013 when they put up career-high reception totals that are fourth and seventh on the school’s all-time single-season list. Richard Rodgers also had his most productive season by far at Cal, picking up career highs of 39 receptions and 608 yards receiving, and was a third-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2014 NFL Draft.
Cal’s running game also got moving under Franklin in 2014 with the emergence of Daniel Lasco, who was named the team’s Most Valuable Player and earned an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection from the league’s coaches after becoming the first Cal player to rush for 1,000 yards or more since Isi Sofele in 2011 by totaling 1,115 rushing yards, while adding 14 total touchdowns including 12 on the ground that ranked ninth on Cal’s all-time single-season list. Lasco was also a threat out of the backfield with 33 receptions for 356 yards receiving and two scores. His combined 1,471 rushing and receiving yards were the most by a Cal player since 2008 when Jahvid Best combined for 1,826 (1,580 rushing, 246 receiving).
Franklin served in the same role for Dykes at Louisiana Tech from 2010-12. In his final campaign with the Bulldogs, Louisiana Tech posted a 9-3 record and led the nation in scoring offense (51.50 points per game) and total offense (577.92 ypg) to make Franklin a nominee for the Broyles Award given annually to the college football’s top assistant coach and one of four finalists for the FootballScoop.com Offensive Coordinator of the Year.
In addition to leading the nation in scoring and total offense with an offense that posted the fifth-highest per-game scoring average ever by a team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Louisiana Tech ranked among the NCAA’s top 20 in 2012 in passing offense (3rd, 350.75 ypg), fewest sacks allowed (7th, 0.83 spg), turnover margin (10th, +1.08 per game) and rushing offense (18th, 227.17 ypg). The Bulldogs scored more than 40 points in 11 of 12 games and over 50 points on eight occasions.
Quarterback Colby Cameron was named the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and earned the Sammy Baugh Award presented to college football’s top passer by The Touchdown Club of Columbus. Cameron completed 359-of-522 passes (68.8%) for 4,147 yards and 31 touchdowns with just five interceptions. He ranked third nationally in total offense (360.33 ypg), while he was 22nd in the nation in passing efficiency (153.19). Cameron also set a new NCAA record for most consecutive passes without an interception over his first 428 attempts in 2012 and totaled 444 going back to the previous season.
Second-team AP All-American Quinton Patton, now a member of the San Francisco 49ers, was Cameron’s top receiver and a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist in 2012 with 104 catches for 1,392 yards receiving and 13 touchdown receptions. Patton led the WAC in both per-game receiving yards (116.00 ypg) and receptions (8.67 rpg), with those numbers ranking fourth and fifth nationally. Myles White added 56 catches for 718 yards receiving and six touchdowns, while ranking fourth and sixth in the WAC in per-game yards receiving (59.83 ypg) and receptions (4.67 rpg).
On the ground, running back Kenneth Dixon was tabbed the WAC Freshman of the Year and earned Freshman All-American honors after breaking Marshall Faulk’s NCAA freshman records for rushing touchdowns (27), total touchdowns (28) and points (168). Dixon led the country in scoring with an average of 14.00 points per game while totaling 1,194 yards on 200 carries. He was also second in the WAC and 33rd nationally in rushing with an average of 106.42 yards per game. Capital One Academic All-America® first teamer Ray Holley, a graduate student pursing a degree in counseling with a 3.50 GPA, added 740 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground over 142 rushes.
During Franklin’s second season in Ruston in 2011 he orchestrated an offense that was fundamentally sound and continued to improve weekly on a Louisiana Tech team that finished 8-5 overall and won the WAC title with a 6-1 league record before advancing to play TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl. Tech ranked third in the nation with five different scoring drives over 90 yards during the season. That precision guided Tech’s offensive explosion at Fresno State when the team scored 34 points and notched over 400 yards of offense in the first half alone. The offense produced more than 40 points on three occasions and averaged 31.71 points per contest during a seven-game win streak to end the regular season. Patton was among both the top receivers in the WAC and across the nation in per-game yards receiving (92.46 ypg, No. 2 WAC, No. 20 NCAA) and receptions (6.08 rpg, No. 4 WAC, No. T28 NCAA), finishing with totals of 79 receptions for 1,202 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns.
In Franklin’s first year on Tech’s staff, his spread offense exploded into a high-octane mechanism in the middle of the season resulting with the team scoring 34 points or more in four of the final six contests and 41 or more three times. Running back Lennon Creek was the team’s top threat, rushing for 1,181 yards and 10 scores on 212 carries. His average of 98.42 yards rushing per game ranked third in the WAC and 22nd nationally.
Franklin spent one season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Middle Tennessee in 2009 prior to his three-year stint at Louisiana Tech. At MTSU, Franklin’s offense generated 421.69 total yards of offense and 32.00 points per game, the fourth and seventh highest totals in school history for a team that posted a 10-3 record that was its best since 1992 and had a seven-game win streak to end the season that was the longest at the school since the 1985 squad won its first 11 contests. The Blue Raider offense, which produced three All-Sun Belt Conference players, scored 30 or more points nine times, including each of the last five games, and topped the 400-yard mark in total offense on eight occasions. Franklin’s 2009 unit set school records in total yards (5,482), passing yards (3,064) and total points (416), with per-game averages that were 23rd nationally in scoring, and 27th in total offense and rushing offense (186.00 ypg).
Middle Tennessee quarterback Dwight Dasher came of age in Franklin’s offensive schemes. The second-team All-Sun Belt Conference performer was the MVP of the 2009 New Orleans Bowl, where he broke Vince Young’s NCAA record for yards rushing in a bowl game by a quarterback with 201 (since broken by Johnny Manziel in the 2013 Cotton Bowl). Dasher ranked seventh in the nation in total offense (303.31 ypg), threw for a school-record 23 TD passes and was named the SBC Player of the Week three times that season. Dasher finished the season with totals of 2,789 yards passing and 1,154 yards rushing to become only the eighth player in NCAA history to pass for over 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season, and the first quarterback in Middle Tennessee history to rush for 1,000.
Franklin made his way to Middle Tennessee after a brief stint as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Auburn, where he coached the Tigers to an overtime victory over Clemson in the 2007 Chick-fil-A Bowl. He remained in the role six games into the 2008 season, with Auburn adding to his Chick-fil-A Bowl victory in 2007 by sporting a 4-2 record in 2008 before he was released from his duties. The Tigers were 0-5 against Division I teams the remainder of the 2008 campaign following his departure.
Franklin was in the same capacity the previous two seasons at Troy (2006-07) where the Trojans combined to go 16-9 overall and 12-2 in the Sun Belt Conference while collecting two league titles. During that span his offense scored 30 or more points 11 times and on eight occasions in his second season, including games against Florida, Georgia and Oklahoma State. In 2007, his squad led the Sun Belt in scoring offense (34.00 ppg) and total offense (452.83 ypg), with a No. 16 national ranking in the latter.
In addition to helping the Trojans to their first Sun Belt Conference title and a victory in the New Orleans Bowl in his first season at Troy, Franklin helped engineer the second-ranked offensive unit in the Sun Belt just one year after the team ranked last in the league in total offense. The Trojans ranked first in the league in passing offense, again one year after ranking last, despite facing three of the top-20 ranked passing defense teams in the country during the season, and more than doubled their offensive output in conference action to 25.23 points per game.
Franklin spent four campaigns on the football staff at Kentucky from 1997-2000 following 16 seasons as a high school football coach. During his tenure at Kentucky, the Wildcats enjoyed unprecedented success on the offensive side of the ball, setting several NCAA, SEC and school records. After coaching running backs for the first three seasons, Franklin was named offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for the 2000 campaign and led the Wildcats to success as the nation’s second-best passing offense as well as the country’s 11th-best team in total offense.
Franklin’s two-back combinations at Kentucky outgained any two-back combinations in the SEC in total yards from scrimmage for three straight seasons. Quarterbacks Tim Couch, Dusty Bonner and Jared Lorenzen each led the SEC in passing during their time as Kentucky quarterbacks, and Couch was the first player selected in the 1999 NFL Draft. Several other UK players reached their goals of making NFL teams after their experience in the high-powered offense.
Franklin was also named one of the top 10 recruiters in the South during his four years at Kentucky as he helped lead the Wildcats to their first back-to-back bowl appearances in 15 seasons in 1998 and 1999, including their first New Year’s Day Bowl game appearance in 47 years against Penn State in the Outback Bowl following the end of the 1998 campaign.
Franklin also spent one season in 2003 as the general manager and head coach of the Lexington Horsemen of the National Indoor Football League, successfully leading the team to a first-round playoff game and a 9-5 regular-season record as an expansion franchise in its inaugural season. The team paced the Atlantic Division in scoring, averaging 53.1 points per game.
In addition to his coaching career, Franklin is the owner of The Tony Franklin Systems that conducts a series of football seminars for coaches emphasizing winning solutions. USA Today took notice of Franklin’s football coaching and teaching abilities in a feature story in 2005 which detailed his consulting successes as a nationally sought-after offensive football coach.
Franklin has also written a pair of books and received rave reviews for his second publication, Victor’s Victory, which chronicled the tragic death and spectacular life of 15-year-old Hoover High School football player Victor Dionte Hill, who died from sudden cardiac arrest on the football practice field during one of Franklin’s consulting sessions. The book has helped to continue the mission of Cheryl Hill, Victor’s mother, to make teachers, coaches, and parents aware of the need for automatic external defibrillators (AED) in every school and youth organization in Alabama.
Franklin received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Murray State in 1979 and 1989, where he was a two-year starter as a running back. He is married to Laura Franklin, and they have three daughters: Chelsea, Caroline and Caitlin.
The Franklin File
|Birthdate:||August 29, 1957|
|High School:||Caldwell County HS|
|College:||Murray State, 1979|
Bachelor's in History
|daughters, Chelsea, Caroline and Caitlin|
Collegiate Coaching History
|2000||Kentucky||Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers|
|2009||Middle Tennessee||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks|
|2010||Louisiana Tech||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks|
|2011||Louisiana Tech||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks|
|2012||Louisiana Tech||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks|
|2015||Cal||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks/Running Backs|
Bowl History (6 Games)
|1999||Kentucky||Music City Bowl|
|2006||Troy||New Orleans Bowl|
|2009||Middle Tennessee||New Orleans Bowl|
|2011||Louisiana Tech||Poinsettia Bowl|
July 29, 2015