Cal’s Tony Franklin leaves for Middle Tennessee State

BERKELEY — Tony Franklin, who spent the past three seasons as offensive coordinator for Cal’s football team, has resigned to take the same position at Middle Tennessee State, Cal announced Friday.

“It has been an honor to represent the world’s No. 1 public education institution as the offensive coordinator for one of the nation’s best offenses,” Franklin said in a statement. “The young men I was honored to lead shattered the Cal record books with an exciting brand of football.”

Franklin, who grew up in Kentucky, said he and his wife, Laura, made the decision in part to be closer to family.

“I wanted this to be the final stop of my coaching career. … However, it wasn’t meant to be.”

Franklin is returning to Middle Tennessee State, or he served as offensive coordinator in 2009.

At Cal, Franklin was the Bears’ quarterbacks coach, working for three years with Jared Goff, who broke most of Cal’s passing records and will enter the NFL draft this spring. In 2015, Franklin also added running backs coach duties.

“I appreciate all of the contributions that Tony has made over the last three seasons to make our football program successful and all that he has accomplished throughout his career including the last six years we have spent working together at Cal and Louisiana Tech,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement.

“I will miss him both as a colleague and a friend, but at this point in his career he has decided that this is the best move for him and his family. I respect and honor that wholeheartedly, and I wish both Tony and his family nothing but the best.”

The Bears finished 8—5 this season and beat Navy in the Armed Forces bowl at Fort Worth, Texas.

The timing of Franklin’s departure is awkward for the Bears. This is a recruiting weekend on campus and signing day is less than two weeks away.

Dykes said he looks forward to hiring a new offensive coordinator who will work with several candidates seeking to replace Goff at quarterback.

“I am also extremely confident and excited that we will hire an offensive coordinator that will help us continue to grow upon our recent success and the foundation that Tony and all of our coaches have built at Cal,” Dykes added. “We have a terrific foundation in place now, and we will embrace the opportunity to hire an outstanding offensive coordinator that will help us continue to have success as a team and be one of the top offenses in college football.”

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