By Jay Coulter
I picked one hell of a week to take a vacation from Track’em Tigers. What was I thinking? With a football season as crazy as this one, I should have known things would stay that way into December.
Auburn made the worst kept secret in the state official tonight. Troy offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was named Auburn’s coordinator a few hours ago. It looks like another solid move for the Tigers and Coach Tommy Tuberville.
Franklin is officially on staff now and will be in charge of the offense when Auburn faces Clemson on New Year’s Eve.
Don’t expect to see the Tigers come out in a no huddle spread offense right away – although after this season, I can’t say I would be shocked.
This is going to be a pretty drastic change to the Auburn offense. It should be interesting. Say what you will, but Franklin’s resume is impressive. He’s very popular among high school coaches around the country.
Many have made the pilgrimage to his offensive camps over the past couple of years. They all want to know how to run the spread. Hopefully, these relationships will pay dividends in recruiting.
Here’s the official announcement from the University:
Tony Franklin, who served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the past two seasons at Troy, has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Auburn, announced head coach Tommy Tuberville Wednesday.
Franklin, who also spent four years at the University of Kentucky, helped both programs achieve a high level of offensive success.
“Tony has had a tremendous amount of success offensively in the Southeastern Conference and during his most recent position at Troy,” Tuberville said. “He teaches an exciting brand of offense that has posted some very impressive numbers, statistically. We’re excited to have him on staff and look forward to having him get started with us during preparations for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.”
During his tenure at Troy, Franklin helped lead the Trojans to back-to-back eight-win seasons, consecutive Sunbelt Conference Co-Championships and a New Orleans Bowl victory in 2006.
Troy’s offense, which was last in the conference in total offense prior to his arrival, was second in the Sun Belt in 2006 and was first in the league in total offense (452.8 ypg) and scoring offense (34.0 ppg) this season. Nationally in 2007, his offense was 17th in total offense and 25th in scoring offense.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to return to the Southeastern Conference and work with an outstanding program at Auburn,” Franklin said. “I’m very appreciative of Coach Tuberville for giving me the chance to serve as Auburn’s offensive coordinator and I’m excited about getting started and working with the coaching staff and players.
“I’d also like to thank (Troy) Coach Larry Blakeney and the Troy family for the opportunity they provided me during the last two years.”
Under Franklin’s direction, Troy quarterback Omar Haugabook was the Sunbelt Conference Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year in 2006. Haugabook repeated as the Sunbelt Offensive Player of the Year in 2007.
Franklin, 50, coached four years at the University of Kentucky from 1997-2000, where he was the Wildcats’ running backs coach from 1997-99 before serving as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach during the 2000 season.
While at Kentucky, Franklin helped lead the Wildcats to consecutive bowl appearances (1998-99) for the first time in 15 years and their first New Year’s Day bowl game (1999 Outback Bowl) in 50 seasons.
Named one of the top 10 recruiters in the South during his tenure in Lexington, Franklin’s offense in 2000 finished second nationally in passing offense and 11th in the country in total offense.
In 2003, Franklin was the general manager and head coach of the expansion franchise Lexington Horsemen football team in their inaugural season in the National Indoor Football League.
Prior to his stint at Kentucky, he coached 16 years on the high school level for seven schools.
Franklin was a two-year letterman at Murray State, from 1976-77, where he played running back. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Murray State in 1979 and 1989, respectively.
A native of Princeton, Ky., Franklin and his wife, Laura, have three daughters, Chelsea (22), Caroline (20), and Caitlin (18).