Jamie Franks completed his second season as Denver's head men's soccer coach and his fifth with the program overall in 2016 after being named the program's 10th head coach in January of 2015.
In two seasons, the head coach of the 2016 National Coaching Staff of the Year has put together a record of 35-2-6, improving Denver's record since Franks joined the staff as an assistant in 2012 to 70-19-14. Combined as a player and coach, Franks is 169-46-31 in college soccer, having reached five of the last 10 College Cups and winning a national championship at Wake Forest as a player in that span.
In just his second season in charge, Franks led the Pioneers to their first College Cup appearance in program history after picking up multiple wins (three) in the NCAA Tournament for the first time, and earning their first postseason victory since 1970.
The two-time Summit League Coach of the Year and the head coach of the 2016 NSCAA West Regional Staff of the Year was the youngest head coach in Division I in 2015 and the second youngest in 2016, earning the promotion from his assistant coaching roll following the departure of Bobby Muuss to Wake Forest.
Franks ended his second season in charge at 35-2-6, having not lost in the regular season and having not suffered a defeat in regulation in his coaching tenure. Under the Wake Forest alum, the Pioneers became the first program since Clemson in 1977-78 to finish consecutive regular seasons unbeaten.
The last unbeaten team in the country for the second-straight year tied a program record with 20 wins (20-1-3) in 2016, matching the 1988 (NAIA) Pioneers that ended the campaign 20-2-2. Prior to its extra time defeat to No. 2 Wake Forest in the College Cup Semifinals, Denver (35-2-6) and Wake Forest (36-5-6) were tied for the most wins in the country over the last two years since the programs made coaching changes ahead of the 2015 season.
Franks managed two-time All-American right back and two-time MAC Hermann Semifinalist Reagan Dunk, Denver’s first Division I All-America selection in program history. Franks, Dunk, two-time captain Sam Hamilton and the rest of the 2016 Denver senior class combined for a 59-13-11 mark over the last four years, the third best record in the country during that span.
Denver earned its fourth-straight Summit League Regular Season and Tournament titles in 2016, entering the 2016 NCAA Tournament with a record of 17-0-3. The Pioneers’ earned a No. 6 seed in the tournament and reached rankings as high as third in the final NSCAA Poll and third in the College Soccer News Poll, all three program bests.
The Pioneers played 12 teams in 2016 that were either ranked or receiving votes in one of the two polls, including five at CIBER Field. In the NCAA Tournament, Denver earned home wins over UNLV (3-0) and No. 11 Washington (2-1) before a Kortne Ford 89th minute header sent Denver to the College Cup after a 1-0 win at No. 3 Clemson.
The 2016 season saw the Pioneers set new DI school marks for the second-consecutive season in shutouts (14) and consecutive unbeaten matches (23).
In Franks first season in charge, the program reached new heights. The Pioneers were the only undefeated team in the country heading into the NCAA Tournament with a 15-0-3 mark, earned an NCAA First Round bye for the first time in program history, booked the program's first trip into the second round and hosted its first-ever NCAA Tournament home game in 2015.
Prior to the final poll released on December 15, Denver spent seven-straight weeks in the top-10 of the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America poll, including two weeks spent at No. 7, the highest ranking in the program's history.
With a focus on the team's defensive shape in his first year in charge, Franks' squad allowed just eight goals in 2015, producing the second-best goals against average in the country (0.400), and had the second-best clean sheet rate in the country at 0.63. Denver's defense allowed just 2.5 shots on goal in 2015. The only upperclassman in Denver's starting back four, Reagan Dunk became Denver's first NSCAA All-American (second team) and its first MAC Hermann Semifinalist. Dunk finished 30th in the country in assists with eight from his right back position.
In addition to what Denver has accomplished on the field under Franks, the Pioneers earned the top grade point average in the country in 2015, and continued their dominance of the Gold Vest Award at the University of Denver in 2015-16.
The 2015 season saw the Pioneers set new DI school marks in shutouts (12), consecutive shutouts (7), consecutive scoreless minutes (797) and consecutive unbeaten matches (18).
In his three years as an assistant at DU, Franks primarily worked with the midfielders and forwards who amassed 110 goals in three seasons, ranking in the top 15 in the country in 2012 & 2013. His roles and responsibilities at the University of Denver included recruiting coordinator, budget manager, post game analysis of film, scouting, and assists in fundraising efforts. In addition, he worked closely with the implementation of all soccer related matters.
Franks joined the Pioneers after two years on staff with the Wake Forest men's soccer team. Being a part of the Wake Forest soccer program both as a player and a coach from 2005-2009 and 2011-2012, Franks was a part of one of the most decorated classes in college soccer history. He most recently played with the Rochester Rhinos in the USSF Division 2 Professional League before joining his alma mater to begin his coaching career.
Franks ranks fifth all time for games played (95) for the Demon Deacons from 2005-08, the first two of which Muuss served as assistant coach. Franks scored seven goals and 20 assists, helping lead Wake Forest to two ACC championships, three College Cups, including the 2007 national championship. After leaving Wake, Franks was selected by Chivas USA in the fourth round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. Prior to college, Franks played on the US U-18 National Team.
After his first season of professional soccer in 2009, Franks joined the Wake Forest staff as the Director of Soccer Operations where he worked with media and film applications. During the 2009 season at Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons advanced to their fourth-consecutive College Cup. After a brief hiatus on staff at Wake Forest, he rejoined the in 2011 as the Volunteer Coach. His responsibilities focused on travel budget, alumni relations, social media, academic liaison, and alumni outreach.
Franks graduated from Wake Forest in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in communication and successfully completed the Business Management Program at the Calloway School of Business. He also completed his Masters in Organizational Leadership here at the University of Denver in 2015.Read More
Mac Hemmi was hired in August, 2016 as the Denver Men's Soccer Director of Operations. Hemmi played his college soccer from 2005-09 at the Colorado School of Mines and the University of New Mexico.
Ahead of the 2017, Hemmi was moved over to Denver's volunteer assistant coach position.
During his playing days, Hemmi was a two-time team captain for the Colorado Rapids U-23s, and made a PDL Playoff appearance while with the club. Hemmi has also played for the Portland Timbers U-23s (2009), in the MLS Reserve League for the Colorado Rapids (2010), for international clubs in Germany (2010) and Latvia (2011), in the USL for Seveilla FC Puerto Rico (2011) and the Rochester Rhinos (2012), before most recently playing a three-year stint for the Real Colorado Foxes.Read More
Former UNC-Wilmington associate head coach Zach Haines was hired as an assistant with the University of Denver men's soccer program in February of 2018.
Haines comes to the Mile High City after a six-year stint under Aidan Heaney at UNC-Wilmington, including the final two as the program’s associate head coach.
The North Carolina alum helped lead the program to six-consecutive CAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the CAA Championship in 2017. The Seahawks put together a 12-8-0 season in 2017 to earn an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament, a bid they took advantage of, earning their second-ever NCAA Tournament victory before falling 2-1 at No. 3 North Carolina.
Haines came to UNC-Wilmington from a stint at Triangle Football Club, where he served as the Assistant Director of Youth Development, coaching the U20s to consecutive USL South Atlantic Division titles in 2010 and 2011 and a national semifinal appearance.Read More
Clayton Zelin comes to DU with over 10 years of experience, serving as director and coach. During his time at Real Colorado, Sereno Soccer Club and with the 2017 National Champion Scottsdale Blackhawks, he won league, state, regional and national championships.
Zelin has a proven record of development, including players that have gone on to US national training centers, regional teams, collegiate programs and professional organizations. He currently holds his NSCAA Premier and UEFA B coaching license.
During his playing days, he played NCAA Division I soccer at Georgia Southern University, where he was captain and an All-Tournament team selection. Following his college career, Zelin played in the MLS Reserves (Colorado Rapids), PDL (New Orleans, Salt Lake & Colorado Foxes) and MASL (Colorado Lightning and Denver Dynamite) before ending his career in USL (Phoenix).Read More