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Monday, March 2, 2009
Will Franchione ever coach again?

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

It's hard for a disgraced head coach to get back into the business after earlier struggles.

Take former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione, who lost his job at Texas A&M after the 2007 season after the shameful VIP e-mail story surfaced about him giving inside information to big-money boosters willing to pay him for the services.

That was a sad, sordid tale that had no place in today's college football. But I think that Franchione learned from his lesson and will be a different, more accountable coach if he has another shot in the business.

I thought Matt Hayes' recent column in the Sporting News Daily about Franchione and other older coaches wanting their chance to get back into coaching was spot-on in his assessment.

Coaches like Franchione, former Colorado coach Gary Barnett and former Kansas and Minnesota coach Glen Mason all are looking for one more shot at coaching. It's refreshing to see former Miami coach Larry Coker among the finalists at the new program at UTSA.

Franchione and I go back a long way. I can remember when he trudged up the steps at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas, for an interview with me after losing a season-ending 1991 game to Sam Houston State while at Southwest Texas. It was a bitter defeat that cost his team a chance at the playoffs. There was no press-box elevator and Franchione walked up the steps just like the rest of us for his interviews after the game.

I saw Franchione a couple of times last season in press boxes that were much more lavish in his new role in the media working for ESPN radio. He was around the game, but didn't appear to be nearly as comfortable or happy in his new job as he was when he was coaching -- even after the bitterest of defeats.  

Franchione and the others belong on the sideline. Here's hoping he gets a chance at coaching again sometime soon.