Franklin Returns as Safeties Coach
Feb. 5, 2016

BOISE, Idaho – Boise State football head coach Bryan Harsin announced Friday the addition of four-year letterwinner and three-time all-league cornerback Gabe Franklin to the Bronco staff as safeties coach.

Franklin, who lettered for the Broncos from 2001-04, returns to his alma mater from UTEP, where he spent the past five seasons on the Miner staff as defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator. He joined the UTEP staff as cornerbacks coach in 2011 before being elevated to defensive backs coach in 2013 and recruiting coordinator in 2014.

"Gabe is the final piece to our coaching staff, and will work closely with Coach Ambrose in the defensive secondary and with our defensive passing game,” Harsin said. “There are a number of things we really feel Gabe brings to the staff - first, he is a Bronco and understands our culture and standards; two, he's a seasoned coach with a tremendous teaching reputation in both the meeting room and on the field; three, he brings a diverse recruiting background in key areas we really like, Southern California and Texas."

In 2015 UTEP’s defense intercepted five passes, with Dashone Smith returning one of those five picks 65 yards for a touchdown, and the secondary was credited with 32 pass break-ups, led by seven from Da’Carlos Renfro. Six of Franklin’s defensive backs ranked among UTEP’s top-10 tacklers on the year, led by Smith’s 41 (20 solo).

That followed a 2014 campaign in which the Miner secondary intercepted 11 passes, with seven different defensive backs making a theft, and broke up 40 passes.

Franklin’s secondaries also made their marks as sure tacklers, most notably in 2013 when UTEP’s top two tacklers were a pair of freshman safeties in Devin Cockrell (76 tackles) and Smith (69).

"I just want to say thank you to Coach Harsin and Coach Avalos for this opportunity,” Franklin said. “Boise State is an elite program that without question holds a special place in my heart as a player and alum. This is an opportunity for me to now give back to my alma mater, and also involve my family in the Bronco tradition and pride. It is an honor to now be on this coaching staff and to work alongside such tremendous leaders and mentors. I can't wait to be back on the Blue!"

Franklin began his coaching career at Bishop O’Dowd High School, his prep alma mater, in Oakland, Calif., in 2007. The following season he joined the staff at California as an administrative assistant on the defensive side, a role in which he served two seasons. After a one-year stint as cornerbacks coach at San Diego (2010), Franklin joined the UTEP staff in the same role in 2011.

As a collegiate player, Franklin finished his four-year career in Boise as the NCAA’s all-time leader in passes defended (72) and tied for fourth in Western Athletic Conference history with 18 interceptions, just two behind the all-time leaders. His 18 picks also rank tied for fourth in Boise State history with Donte Deayon.

He was a three-time All-WAC selection, being named to the conference’s second team from 2002-03 before cracking the first team in 2004 after intercepting four passes, breaking up 17 and making 61 tackles. Over his career, Boise State went 44-7, won three conference titles and a pair of bowl games, defeating Iowa State in the 2002 Humanitarian Bowl and TCU in the 2003 PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl.

"I am excited to bring a coach of Gabe's caliber into our staff room,” defensive coordinator Andy Avalos said. “On top of that, it’s a former Bronco we are bringing back into the fold. Gabe has paid his dues as a coach, is a polished teacher and a great recruiter. The way he carries himself and his approach to the game of football and life, no doubt he will be a tremendous leader for our players. Here's a guy who as a player helped establish the culture that now defines Bronco football. That's huge for us to have as a part of our coaching staff."

Following his collegiate career, Franklin signed as an undrafted free agent with the NFL’s San Diego Chargers in 2005. He also had stints with the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers, and played for the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe in 2007.

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