A veteran basketball coach with a name familiar to Ranger fans has been selected to lead the men’s basketball program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
Brad Franz was introduced today as the new men’s basketball coach at a morning press conference.
“What we have in Brad Franz is a proven winner,” Andrew Carter, director of athletics, said. “Brad has a great record as a collegiate coach, is a tremendous recruiter, and will bring an intensity and sense of urgency to our program. He knows our league, he knows the culture of Northwestern, and he knows what it will take to be successful.”
Franz last coached in 1996 at Otero (Colo.) Junior College before moving into administrative roles there and at Northwestern, but he remained a visible part of the basketball scene as a nationally-respected talent scout, providing coaches with reports on the nation’s top junior college and high school players.
“There was only one coaching position that could bring me back to the bench and it was at Northwestern,” Franz said. “My love for Northwestern began as a student and has stayed with me since that time. I am honored to be selected to lead the basketball program and want to thank Dr. Janet Cunningham and Andy Carter for this opportunity. My family and I are truly excited to be a part of the Ranger family again.”
“There’s a commitment to winning the right way at Northwestern. I know we can be competitive with great young men who will graduate and understand what an honor it is to wear a red and black jersey.”
Dr. Janet Cunningham, president of Northwestern, said Franz is an outstanding selection for the position.
“Brad Franz is extremely talented and a tireless worker who will commit himself to building a successful program,” Cunningham said. “The word ‘failure’ is not in his vocabulary.”
Franz was head coach and athletic director at Otero from 1991-96, compiling an 88-56 (.636) record, while leading the school to its first-ever conference title and a pair of second-place finishes. His teams played in the postseason all five years, including two final four appearances in the NJCAA Region IX tournament.
The last three seasons of Franz’s tenure at Otero were particularly stellar. His 1993-94 team compiled a 22-7 record, the school’s best ever, and was ranked in the top 25. That team also was ranked No. 5 nationally in team defense.
His 1994-95 team was 21-9 and seven of his sophomores signed early with NCAA Division I schools.
During that three-year period, all 25 of his sophomores graduated from Otero and moved on to four-year schools, including 15 that played at the Division I level.
Following the 1995 season, Franz left coaching and moved into student services and athletics administration.
Prior to becoming the head coach at Otero, Franz was an assistant coach at Northwestern, University of California-Davis, University of Tulsa and Sheridan (Wyo.) Junior College. Franz was an assistant coach at Northwestern during the 1990-91 season, and a graduate assistant coach from 1996-98.
Franz earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern. He and his wife Lisa, also a Northwestern graduate, have three children: a son Jordan, and daughters Cecely and Aleysa.