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Jamie Franks

Head Coach

Jamie Franks completed his ninth season as Denver's head men's soccer coach and his 12th with the program overall in 2023 after being named the program's 10th head coach in January of 2015.

In nine seasons, the head coach of the 2016 National Coaching Staff of the Year has put together a record of 109-36-28, improving Denver's record since Franks joined the staff as an assistant in 2012 to 144-53-36. Combined as a player and coach, Franks is 243-80-53 in college soccer, having reached five College Cups and winning a national championship at Wake Forest as a player in that span.

The five-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 role following the departure of Bobby Muuss to Wake Forest.

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.

Franks ended his second season at 35-2-6, having not lost in the regular season and having not suffered a defeat in regulation in his coaching tenure through two seasons. Under the Wake Forest alum, the Pioneers became the first program since Clemson in 1977-78 to finish consecutive regular seasons unbeaten.

In nine seasons in charge, Franks has qualified for the NCAA Tournament eight times and has received byes as one of the top-16 seeds in three of those campaigns.

Franks tenure has also produced the top grade point average in the country in five of eight seasons (2015-17, 2019, 2020), the second-best grade point average in the country twice (2018, 2021), the third best GPA in the country once (2022),  three University of Denver Gold Vest awards (2015, 2016, 2018), the first five MLS First Round picks in program history (Dunk – 2017, Hamilton, 2017, Smith, 2018, Shinyashiki, 2019, Drack - 2021) and 2017 Colorado Rapids Homegrown signing Kortne Ford, who would have likely gone in the top-5 of the 2017 MLS Super Draft. Shinyashiki was named the MLS Rookie of the Year in 2019 following his 28-goal season with the Pioneers in 2018.

Franks Year-By-Year
2015 – 15-1-3 – NCAA Second Round – Summit League Coach of the Year
2016 – 20-1-3 – NCAA College Cup – National Coaching Staff of the Year – Summit League Coach of the Year
2017 – 11-6-2 – Summit League Coach of the Year
2018 – 15-4-2 – NCAA Second Round – Summit League Coach of the Year
2019 - 6-12-3 - NCAA First Round
2020 - 6-2-0 - Qualified for the NCAA Tournament, but withdrew due to Covid Protocols.
2021 - 10-4-5 - NCAA Second Round
2022 - 14-3-5 - NCAA Second Round
2023 - 12-3-5 - NCAA Second Round

2015: 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. 

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).

2016: 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).

2017: Denver picked up right where it left off in 2016 in the opening weekend, knocking off two ranked teams at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium in Florida Gulf Coast and Akron. Following the opening weekend, the Pioneers dropped four of the next six. Denver split the next four matches, including a 3-1 win at Saint Louis before going unbeaten in the Pioneers' final seven matches of the campaign. Denver finished a perfect 5-0-0 in the Summit League, and earned the program's third result at New Mexico on Oct. 25.

Denver defeated Eastern Illinois 1-0 in the Summit League Semifinals, before drawing Omaha 1-1 in the Summit League Final. Denver lost the final in an 11-round penalty kick shootout, being outscored by the home side 9-8 from the spot.

2018: Franks got the Pioneers back on track in 2018, earning the 15th national seed in the NCAA Tournament and going 15-4-2 despite playing the most difficult non-conference schedule in program history. Denver’s success was helped in large part by the stellar senior year of one of Jamie’s first major recruits in co-captain Andre Shinyashiki, who netted 28 goals in 21 matches, including five hat tricks to lead the NCAA, the best scoring rate in a campaign in nearly 30 years. Shinyashiki was recognized nationally for his performances in 2018, being named the program’s first MAC Hermann Finalist, while winning the Senior CLASS Award, CoSIDA First Team All-America honors, United Soccer Coaches National Scholar Athlete of the Year honors and many more awards in his final season in Crimson and Gold.

Denver opened the campaign 10-0-2, cracking the top-5 in the national rankings, and earning the top spot in the Top Drawer Soccer poll in early October. In the season-opening stretch, Denver defeated No. 3 Washington 3-2 in extra time, won at SMU, defeated No. 22 San Francisco 3-0, won a seven-goal thriller 4-3 at Omaha and won at No. 8 Creighton 1-0 in extra time.

In the second half of the season, the Pioneers lost at Virginia (3-0), at Maryland (1-0) and at Stanford (1-0 in extra time), but turned in a 4-0-1 Summit League campaign around that stretch to take the regular season trophy for the sixth-straight year. The Pioneers also won both Summit League Tournament matches 1-0 at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium to win their fifth Summit League Tournament title in their six years in the league. Denver later fell to Air Force in the NCAA Second round to cap off Franks’ fourth season in charge.

The 2018 senior class finished 61-12-10, putting Denver in the top-five in the country in total wins in that span and second in percentage of points earned.

2019: Without a single senior, Franks scheduled one of the hardest non-conference schedules in the country and the hardest in the program's history, preparing his program for postseason play. Denver finished the campaign 6-12-3, but recorded back-to-back wins against an Oral Roberts program that was nationally ranked during parts of the campaign, and Summit League rival Omaha to claim the program's 12th trophy in seven years in the league and a trip back to the NCAA Tournament.

In pouring rain, and heavy winds, Missouri State scored on a set piece to knock Denver out of the NCAA Tournament 1-0. Franks will bring his entire roster back in 2020. 

2020 (delayed to 2021): In a Summit League double round robin format, Denver finished 6-2-0 on the year to win the Summit League regular season title on points per game. The Pioneers were unable to play Omaha due to COVID-19 protocols...Denver drew UNC Greensboro in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but the Pioneers were forced to withdraw due to COVID protocols.

2021: Coming out of a Summit League only schedule in the delayed spring season, Franks and the Pioneers went back to their difficult scheduling ways in hopes of building an RPI good enough to get a home game in the NCAA Tournament. Denver started the season 1-1-1 with trips to Oregon State, Portland and SMU. Denver then reeled off a stretch of seven wins in eight matches, defeating Evansville, Cal State Fullerton, Air Force, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, St. Thomas and at Virginia in that span to get off to a nine points from nine start in the Summit League. Denver then drew with Stanford 1-1 in-front of over 1,700 fans at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium. A win at Oral Roberts gave Denver a leg-up in the Summit League table, a title the Pios would eventually clinch a couple of weeks later at Kansas City.

In the Summit League Tournament, the Pioneers needed not one but two penalty shootouts, headlined by six saves by backup goalkeeper Kobe Gray against 11 penalties faced.

Denver got its first win in the NCAA Tournament since 2016 with its victory at Grand Canyon in the NCAA First Round before losing to Clemson on a late penalty in the second period of extra time in the second round.

2022: Denver put itself up against the nation's best once again in 2022, most of the time away from home, but opened the season 9-2-5 in its first 16 matches before winning five of its first six in November. Following a season-opening home win over Gonzaga, the Pioneers started a five-match road swing. Denver won its 2021 NCAA Tournament rematch at Grand Canyon before beating 9th-ranked Maryland in College Park 2-0. Denver earned a 1-1 draw at No. 19 Georgetown and defeated UC San Diego before dropping its first match of the season at San Diego State. 

Denver dominated Portland in a top-15 clash at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium, but couldn't put it in the back of the net in a 0-0 draw. The Pios then lost to Oregon State, having played down a man the entire second half. Denver's defense kept four-straight cleansheets that included 1-0 Summit League wins against Oral Roberts and at Omaha before defeating No. 21 Virginia on the road 1-0.

DU drew the next three before going on a seven-match winning streak that included another Summit League Tournament title and a 1-0 overtime win over San Diego in the NCAA First Round. In the Summit League Final against Kansas City, Denver won 3-0 and outshot the visitors 20-2. No. 9 Denver and No. 4 Duke played in the NCAA Second Round in Durham, with the Blue Devils winning 3-1.

Denver finished third in the country in shutout percentage (0.591), seventh in goals against average (0.675), 15th in goal differential (+26), 16th in shot accuracy (0.479) and 24th in total goals (41).

2023: Franks schedule had some of the usual suspects when he once again tested his team with one of the top non-conference schedules in the country in 2023, but got a fair few of them at home this time around. Denver opened with a 2-0-2 start to the season that included a 3-1 win over then-No. 11 SMU. The Pioneers went on to finish the season-opening six-match homestand unbeaten at 4-0-2.

Denver went 7-0-1 in Summit League regular season play to bring home the program’s ninth regular season title since joining the league in 2013.

Kansas City came from behind to beat the Pios in penalties in the Summit League Tournament, but the Pioneers rebounded with a 2-1 win against LIU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium before being asked to return to No. 6 SMU in the second round. The Pios comeback fell just short, falling 2-1 despite peppering the goal in the final minutes.

Denver put 10 student-athletes on the All-Summit League teams, including Sam Bassett earning Midfielder of the Year, Jason Belloli being named the Defensive Player of the Year and Isaac Nehme being named the Goalkeeper of the Year. Franks was named the Summit League Coach of the Year for his efforts.

The Pioneers put three student-athletes on the USC All-Region Team, and Sam Bassett was named a Second Team All-America pick, Denver’s first honoree since 2018. Bassett was the third different honoree under Franks, joining Reagan Dunk (2015/2016) and Andre Shinyashiki (2018). Jason Belloli was named a CSC First Team Academic All-American for his work on the field and in the classroom.

Prior to 2015: 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.

Playing Career: Franks 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.