Local News

Franks Fired As Duke's Football Coach

Posted October 20, 2003

— Another Triangle University is looking for a new head football coach. A day after a lopsided defeat to Wake Forest, Duke on Sunday fired Coach Carl Franks.

For Franks, it was his dream job. He played for Duke, and he graduated from Duke. He was put on the sidelines five years ago to add some zip to Duke's offense -- the third former Duke player to be the Blue Devils' head coach.

But the turnaround never happened. The Blue Devils won just five games in Franks' first four seasons.

This was a season in which the school expected to win five or six games and win some Atlantic Coast Conference games. But Saturday's Homecoming loss to Wake Forest left the Blue Devils at 2-5 with an ACC losing streak of 29 straight games.

The man in charge, Athletics Director Joe Alleva, decided to make a change right away.

Duke will now turn to defensive coordinator Ted Roof, a former Georgia Tech player.

Roof has been named interim head coach. He will meet with Alleva after the season to assess how he did in the team's final five games.

"This will be a five-game season," Roof said. "If we have success, my prospects (for being permanent coach) go up. If we don't have success, there will be no prospects."

Roof is in his second stint as a coach at Duke, having taken over as defensive coordinator in 2002.

"I think Ted's very passionate and very enthusiastic," Alleva said, "some of the things that I think our team hasn't shown this year."

Alleva said a search for a replacement will begin immediately, and that Roof would be considered.

"I'm looking for a coach that can recruit, that can motivate the team and that can lead this organization -- be a leader," Alleva said. "I think it's a great coaching job. We have nowhere to go but up."

Franks released a statement Sunday:

"I am disappointed that we didn't have more success," he said. "I certainly wish I could have finished out the season. But Joe Alleva decided a change needed to be made."

Franks expressed confidence the Duke players will work hard for the school. Their first test -- Saturday against North Carolina State.

"We appreciate everything that Carl Franks has done for Duke football as a player, assistant coach and head coach," Alleva said. "We've made some strides in our program under his guidance the past five years. He has continued our excellent track record of graduating our student-athletes and carefully guided us through the program's needs as we moved into our new football facility, the Yoh Center. However, I have not seen significant improvement on the field, which prompted this decision.

"Halftime yesterday (Saturday) was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. It was embarrassing."

Duke President Nannerl O. Keohane said she supported Alleva's decision.

"Joe Alleva and I are in full agreement that this decision is in the best interests of our football program and the university," Keohane said. "We appreciate the many contributions Coach Franks has made and wish him well."


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