clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cal offensive coordinator Tony Franklin resigns, will become OC at Middle Tennessee State

New, 269 comments

This is not ideal.

Tony Franklin

So much for keeping the coaching staff together. California Golden Bears offensive coordinator Tony Franklin has resigned his position with the Bears. Franklin will accept a similar position at Middle Tennessee State.

Hopefully this was pre-planned and Sonny Dykes has a new hire in place as soon as possible. There are big questions now as to whether the Tony Franklin System will be the offense for the Bears going forward, because the architect of Cal's elite offense the last few years is now gone. Cal had a top 15 to 20 offense by most statistical measures the last two years, partly in thanks to the great Jared Goff and his stable of amazing wideouts, but also because the TFS was quite stable in producing strong results.

The reason Franklin states for his departure is to spend more time with his children and his grandchildren back in Tennessee.

Cal will now need to probably make multiple hires at both the offensive coordinator position, and will need a new quarterbacks coach (although they'll probably combine that hire with the OC) and a running backs coach, as Franklin held all three positions last season. Luckily there is money in the assistant salary pool to make good hires, but now Cal will likely have to reboot the offense they run under a new playcaller who has his own vision of what the Golden Bear offense will be.

And again, this is not a good time to really be changing coaches. Cal has its biggest recruiting visit weekend of the year. Expect other recruiting staffs to double their efforts.

Here is the official release from CalBears.com.

Tony Franklin Statement

I have submitted my resignation from my position as the offensive coordinator with the University of California football program effective January 25, 2016.

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. 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.

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.

It is an exciting time for Cal football and I’ll forever value the fact that I was able to play a role in invigorating this football program. Most every week we were able to put one of the most exciting offenses in college football on the field. The future is bright and big things should continue to happen in the near future.

Thank you to the young men who pledged their bodies, hearts, minds and souls to represent this great university, and thanks to the coaches I was honored to work with.

Coach Dykes, his staff and Director of Athletics Mike Williams have created a climate where young men will succeed on and off the field. I expect Cal football to get better each year under their continued vision and leadership.

I give a special thanks to former Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour for having the faith and foresight to give us an opportunity. It has been an adventure I will always be proud of and it has made my life better to be an educator in Berkeley.

When Laura and I made this decision to leave Cal and move back closer to our family we were very fortunate to have an opportunity arise soon after. The new opportunity allowed me to continue to coach football as well as have a closer relationship with our parents, children and grandchildren. I am grateful to head coach Rick Stockstill and Middle Tennessee State University for welcoming me back as the offensive coordinator for the Blue Raiders. In 2009 we worked together to win a MTSU Division I record 10 games and I’m certain we can work together to better that this go around. Tony Franklin announced Friday that he has resigned from his position at Cal where he has served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the past three campaigns while adding responsibilities as the running backs coach in his final season at the school in 2015.

Franklin accepted a position to become the offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State the school announced Friday.

"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. "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." (Franklin's full statement can be viewed below)

"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," Cal head coach Sonny Dykes said. "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."

"I am also extremely confident and excited that we will hire an offensive coordinator that will help us continue to grow upon our recent success and the foundation that Tony and all of our coaches have built at Cal," Dykes added. "We have a terrific foundation in place now, and we will embrace the opportunity to hire an outstanding offensive coordinator that will help us continue to have success as a team and be one of the top offenses in college football."

Cal posted an 8-5 overall record in the Bears' third campaign under Dykes in 2015 to mark the school's most victories since 2009, capping the season with a win over Air Force at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. The bowl victory was Cal's first postseason win since 2008 in its first bowl appearance since 2011. The team's seven-win turnaround over the last two seasons is tied for the second best in school history behind only the eight-win improvement from a 2-10 mark in 1946 to a 10-1 record in 1948.

Among the single-season school records Cal set in 2015 on the offensive side of the ball were passing yardage (4,892), passing yards per game (376.3 ypg), passing touchdowns (44), total offense (6,879), total yards per game (529.2 ypg), total touchdowns (63), scoring offense (37.9 ppg, modern-era record), first downs (341) and first downs passing (201), with all the marks previously set in 2013 or 2014.

Cal ranked third nationally in passing offense, eighth in total offense and 17th in scoring offense in 2015, with all of the numbers second in the Pac-12.

Quarterback Jared Goff, who declared for the 2016 NFL Draft last month, set 26 school records during his three seasons as Cal's starting quarterback from 2013-15 including career marks for passing yardage (12,220), touchdown passes (96), total offense (12,086) and completions (977). He also finished his career second on the school's all-time list for passing efficiency (143.95) behind only Aaron Rodgers. He ranks third all-time in Pac-12 history in passing yardage and fourth in passing touchdowns, while he is 26th nationally in passing yards and 27th in passing touchdowns.

Cal was the only team in the nation to have six receivers with 40 or more catches in 2015 - Kenny Lawler (52-658, 13 TD), Darius Powe (47-560, 8 TD), Bryce Treggs (45-956, 7 TD), Stephen Anderson (41-474, 2 TD), Trevor Davis (40-672, 2 TD) and Maurice Harris (40-558, 6 TD). The Bears also had three 500-yard rushers - Khalfani Muhammad (87-586, 1 TD), Vic Enwere (106-505, 8 TD) and Tre Watson (89-504, 3 TD) - to become the first college football team in recorded history to have six players with 40 or more receptions and three 500-yard rushers in the same season.

Tony Franklin Statement

I have submitted my resignation from my position as the offensive coordinator with the University of California football program effective January 25, 2016.

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. 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.

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.

It is an exciting time for Cal football and I'll forever value the fact that I was able to play a role in invigorating this football program. Most every week we were able to put one of the most exciting offenses in college football on the field. The future is bright and big things should continue to happen in the near future.

Thank you to the young men who pledged their bodies, hearts, minds and souls to represent this great university, and thanks to the coaches I was honored to work with.

Coach Dykes, his staff and Director of Athletics Mike Williams have created a climate where young men will succeed on and off the field. I expect Cal football to get better each year under their continued vision and leadership.

I give a special thanks to former Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour for having the faith and foresight to give us an opportunity. It has been an adventure I will always be proud of and it has made my life better to be an educator in Berkeley.

When Laura and I made this decision to leave Cal and move back closer to our family we were very fortunate to have an opportunity arise soon after. The new opportunity allowed me to continue to coach football as well as have a closer relationship with our parents, children and grandchildren. I am grateful to head coach Rick Stockstill and Middle Tennessee State University for welcoming me back as the offensive coordinator for the Blue Raiders. In 2009 we worked together to win a MTSU Division I record 10 games and I'm certain we can work together to better that this go around.