Franks fired after 29th straight ACC loss

Updated: October 20, 2003, 12:05 AM ET
Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke fired coach Carl Franks on Sunday and appointed defensive coordinator Ted Roof as his replacement for the rest of the season.

The firing comes a day after the Blue Devils (2-5) fell behind Wake Forest 42-0 at halftime, and lost 42-13 for their 29th-straight Atlantic Coast Conference loss.

"Halftime of the game yesterday was the straw that broke the camel's back for me," athletic director Joe Alleva said.

Franks is the third Division I-A head coach to be fired this season, joining John Mackovic at Arizona and Todd Berry at Army. Mississippi State's Jackie Sherrill announced last week that he would retire at the end of the season.

Franks, a former Duke tight end, was 7-45 in 4½ seasons.

He had signed a contract extension through 2006 after going 2-10 last year, but it's unclear how much of his salary was guaranteed. Alleva declined to discuss any details of the contract at a news conference Sunday.

Franks did not immediately return a call to his home seeking comment. He issued a statement through the school which read: "I am disappointed that we didn't have more success. I certainly wish I could have finished out the season, but Joe Alleva decided that a change needed to be made."

Early this season, Alleva said Franks would have to win at least one ACC game and the team would have to show significant progress to keep his job.

However, Alleva pulled the plug on Franks after just four conference games. The Blue Devils have four ACC games remaining and a nonconference meeting at No. 22 Tennessee on Nov. 1.

Alleva said he kept Franks around for this year because the Blue Devils last year were showing improvement. Duke returned a league-high 20 starters from last year's team, but were averaging an ACC-worst 15 points a game.

Alleva indirectly pointed to the problem when asked what Roof could do to right the ship in Durham.

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

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 returned to his alma mater in 1999 after nine seasons at Florida as an assistant to Steve Spurrier, himself a former Duke coach.

Following a 3-8 record in Franks' initial season at Duke, the team had back-to-back 0-11 campaigns in 2000 and 2001. The Blue Devils snapped a 23-game losing streak with a 23-16 victory over East Carolina to open the 2002 season.

Duke opened this season 2-1 by beating Rice and Division I-AA Western Carolina. They've since dropped four straight games to Northwestern, Florida State, Maryland and the Demon Deacons.

Roof began his second stint as an assistant coach at Duke in 2002. The former All-ACC linebacker at Georgia Tech guided the Blue Devil defense that year to lead the conference in rushing defense. Duke also moved from 113th nationally in total defense in 2001 to 65th in 2002.

Roof also coached at Alabama, West Georgia, Massachusetts, Western Carolina and Georgia Tech.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press