Texas State students and fans may have been surprised at the announcement of the new head football coach, given Dennis Franchione’s past experience.
Presidentand Athletic Director Larry Teis released the news almost two weeks ago, naming Franchione as the coach to lead the Bobcats into the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Franchione, who has been away from coaching for three years, resigned from his position at his previous institution, Texas A&M, after violations of NCAA rules.
The Bobcat faithful may have been eager to see other finalists, such as former Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster or Oklahoma assistant defensive coordinator Bobby Jack Wright take the reins this upcoming football season.
Hawkins had a successful coaching career at Boise State, leading the Broncos to a 53-11 record after five seasons, in addition to two Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year awards.
Hawkins arrived at Colorado in 2005 and only produced 19 wins in his five years as head coach.
Brewster had the privilege of coaching 13 seasons under current Texas head coach Mack Brown at North Carolina and Texas.
However, Minnesota fired Brewster midway through this season after accumulating only one win. On top of his collegiate coaching experience, Brewster served as the tight ends coach for the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos before his stint at Minnesota.
Hawkins led Boise State to become one of the powerhouses of college football, and Brewster has experience with the FBS and NFL, but both failed to leave good impressions at their BCS schools.
Another finalist in contention for the job was Southwest Texas State alumnus Bobby Jack Wright. He has had a successful career at Oklahoma, including one national championship and numerous 10-plus win seasons under the helm of Bob Stoopes.
On the other hand, Wright, unlike the other finalists, has never been a collegiate head coach.
Texas State is transitioning to unknown territory in the FBS, but rest assured Franchione has enough experience to lead the Bobcats to winning seasons and bowl bids.
Franchione has coached in the FBS since 1992, including nine seasons in the WAC. Bobcat fans should be hopeful for the upcoming season knowing Franchione turned a struggling Texas Christian team around to total 25 wins in just three years as the Horned Frogs head coach.
Hopefully, with good recruiting and a solid, new coaching staff, the Bobcats will be back to compete in 2011 against Southland Conference teams.