The independent news organization of Duke University

BREAKING NEWS: Duke fires football coach Carl Franks

Duke University has fired head football coach Carl Franks, officials announced early Sunday afternoon. A press conference is set for 4:30 p.m. Sunday in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Franks, who was seven games into his fifth season as head coach at Duke, had a 7-45 record. Ted Roof, Duke's defensive coordinator the past two seasons, will coach the team for the remainder of the season.

"We appreciate everything that Carl has done for Duke football as a player, assistant coach and head coach," said Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said in a statement. "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."

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

UPDATED 6:15 p.m.:

The following are excerpts from Athletic Director Joe Alleva after dismissing Carl Franks as head football coach:

"Today I had to make a hard decision. I felt like our football team wasn't going in the right direction. I said all along that Carl [Franks] was my coach as long as I felt that we were making progress and we were going in the right direction. This year I haven't had that feeling. Even in the games we won, I didn't feel like we were making the kinds of progress that we needed to be making. As I told the team earlier today, there's more talent on this team than what we're showing on the football field. In this world we live in, the head coach is responsible. Ultimately, Carl's the head coach, he's responsible. He's a good man, he's worked really hard. It just hasn't worked, so it was time to move on."

"I'm pleased to give Ted Roof the opportunity to be the head coach. I think Ted's very passionate, very enthusiastic--some of the things I think our team hasn't shown this year. I'll be very interested in seeing the things that he'll change, and I'll be very interested to see how our kids react to the final five games of the year. I told them it's like a new season. We've got five games left, let's treat it like a new season and go after it."

"I feel like it needed to be done now for a couple of reasons. We've got 85 football players that I have a responsibility for. Those 85 football players need to have the best experience that they can have. I felt like they may not have been having that so far this year. I want to give them the best chance to win. We've got an alumni group and fans that deserve the opportunity to have a good football team. I didn't believe that we were going in that direction, and that's another reason why I made the change."

"This time I'm going to have an advisory group that will help me with the search. I've already started talking to a consultant that will help me a bit with the search. It will probably be more public. I'm going to go after the best coach I can find."

"I'm looking for a coach that can recruit, that can motivate the team and can lead this program, be a leader."

"I would love nothing better than to see Ted win the next five games, show terrific improvement and then be a candidate for the permanent head coaching position."

"I think this is a great coaching job. We have nowhere to go but up. With the right leadership, this can be a tremendous job. I look at what Jim Grobe has done at Wake Forest and the leadership he's provided over there. I think he's a marvelous example of what can be done if you have the right guy. Buildings and uniforms help, but the right leader is the critical thing."

"I'm not going to rush into this thing and hire someone on Nov. 25 just because it's Nov. 25. I'm going to hire the best coach I can and take as much time as necessary to do that."

"Halftime of the game yesterday [against Wake Forest] was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was a bit disappointed with the Virginia game, I was a bit disappointed with the Northwestern game, and yesterday at halftime, frankly, was embarrassing. That was the straw that broke the camel's back."

"I kept Coach Franks around for this year because last year, we lost five games by a total of 17 points. We were showing that improvement that I alluded to earlier. That's why I gave him a chance to coach this team this year. I'm disappointed for Carl. I feel bad that it didn't work out, but it just didn't work out."

"I think Carl was instrumental in a lot of the infrastructure changes that we've made at Duke that sometimes go unnoticed, but they're very important and they're going to very much benefit the next coach. Things that we've been able to put in place over the last five years are really going to benefit the next coach. We've added six people that directly or indirectly are working with the football program that we didn't have before. We've increased the salaries of our coaches, although still not enough. And we raised $22 million to build that football building and that building is a tremendous asset to our program."


Share and discuss “BREAKING NEWS: Duke fires football coach Carl Franks” on social media.