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Dennis Franchione Named University of Alabama Head Football Coach

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --- University of Alabama Athletics Director Mal Moore formally introduced Dennis Franchione, 49, today as the Crimson Tide's 24th head football coach.

"We have found, what I believe is the coach most capable of guiding this team into the future," Moore said. "His success has been impressive at every level. We are proud to have him coach The University of Alabama. We very much look forward to getting things started."

Franchione (Fran-CHO-nee), who was head coach at TCU, will coach the Horned Frogs in the Dec. 20 GMAC Mobile Bowl against Southern Mississippi. TCU is ranked 16th by the Associated Press and 13th in the latest USAToday/ESPN poll

"It is an honor for me to become head coach at a school so rich in tradition and to follow in the footsteps of coach Paul "Bear" Bryant," Franchione said. "At a lot of places they just play football, at Alabama they live it. It has been a dream of mine to be able to coach at a school like Alabama."

"We are eager to welcome the Franchiones to the Alabama family. In talking with coach Franchione, I was impressed with his coaching philosophy, especially his emphasis on discipline and development of character. He has the proven ability to not only win football games but to motivate and make a difference in the lives of student athletes," said UA President Dr. Andrew Sorensen. "I commend our athletics director, Coach Mal Moore, for the outstanding job he has done during this search process. We are confident Coach Franchione has the experience, knowledge and leadership to guide our football program back to a championship-level of competition."

His 2000 squad was ranked first in three NCAA team categories (total defense, 245.0; scoring defense, 9.6 and kickoff returns, 28.81) and fourth in two others (rushing, 275.64 and pass defense, 160.6). His defense allowed just 10 passing touchdowns, while intercepting 15 passes.

Here is a look at other statistical rankings during the 2000 season: rushing defense, 7th (84.4 yards per game); scoring, 11th (37.27 ppg); turnover margin, t13th (plus 0.91 per game); net punting, 16th (37.57); total offense, 23rd (421.09) and punt returns, 44th (10.30 yards per return).

A 1973 graduate of Pittsburg State, Franchione comes to Alabama after a three-year stint at TCU where he was 25-10 overall and 16-7 in Western Athletic Conference play. Under Franchione's tutelage, TCU won back-to-back WAC titles in 1999 and 2000. This season, the WAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, LaDainian Tomlinson and Aaron Schobel respectively, both for Franchione at TCU. In the six seasons prior to his arrival, the Horned Frogs had won a combined 24 games.

Overall Franchione has put together an impressive 138-65-2 record during his 18 years as a collegiate head coach. His 138 victories ranks 13th among active Division I coaches and his career winning percentage (.678) ranks 15th.

In 1998, Franchione led the Frogs to a win over Southern California in the Sun Bowl. It was the first bowl victory for TCU since the 1957 Cotton Bowl. In 1999, TCU beat East Carolina in the Mobile Alabama Bowl, giving the Frogs back-to-back bowl wins for the first time since 1936 and 1937.

Starting his career at Southwestern (Kan.) College in 1981, Franchione finished with a 14-4-2 record before moving to his alma mater, Pittsburg (Kan.) State, in 1985. During his five years as head coach of the Gorillas, he was twice named NAIA Coach of the Year and compiled a 53-6-0 record. He led Pittsburg State to five straight conference titles, five consecutive playoff appearances and a regular-season winning streak of 45 consecutive games. He was also recognized as National Coach of the Year in 1986 and 1987.

Franchione spent two seasons at Southwest Texas (1990-91) where he compiled a 13-9-0 mark. He was named Regional VI Coach of the Year in 1990.

He was then named head coach at New Mexico, where he took that program from a 3-8 mark in 1992 to a WAC Mountain Division title in 1997 with a 9-4 record. New Mexico played in the 1997 Bowl that season.

He moved to TCU in 1998 and took a team that went 1-10 the year before to a 7-5 mark and a spot in Sun Bowl. The Frogs beat Southern Cal, 28-19 in that game. The following season, Franchione led the Frogs to an 8-4 mark, a WAC co-championship and another bowl berth.

Franchione has also served in administrative and fund-raising roles as well. During is stay at Pittsburg State, he also served as athletics director and led a $1.6 million campaign to renovate the school's football stadium. At New Mexico, he assisted in fund-raising for a new $8 million Tow Diehm end zone facility.

Born in Girard, Kansas, Franchione and his wife Kim have two daughters, Ashley and Libby. He also has a son, Brad, who is the defensive line coach at East Central University.