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Houston Franks
Position: Head Cross Country Coach
Hometown: Tupelo, MS
Alma Mater: Mississippi State
Graduating Year: 1998
Email: hfranks@athletics.msstate.edu
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Franks Videos

Houston Franks returned home to Mississippi State in 2004 as an assistant track and field coach. An accomplished distance runner for the Maroon and White from 1994-98, Franks coaches and develops men's distance runners and served his first season as head cross country coach in 2009.  The eighth-year as men's cross country head coach and second as women's head coach Franks is an integral part to the recent success of the MSU Lady Bulldog and Bulldog cross country and distance track and field programs.

During the 2011 Indoor Track and Field season, Franks guided sophomore Haley Greenwell to a third-place spot on the MSU all-time list for the 5,000-meter run, but it was during the 2011 Outdoor Track and Field season that Franks really saw Greenwell shine. The Lady Bulldog raced her way to the top of the MSU all-time list for the 10,000-meter run, while posting a 3rd place finish at the SEC Championships and a 17th place finish at the NCAA Championships. Franks' coaching paid off at the end of the season, as Greenwell was named an honorable mention all-American.

Franks helped the Lady Bulldogs to fifth-place finishes at both the 2010 SEC Championships and the NCAA South Regional, while leading the Bulldogs to seventh and 10th place finishes in the respected events. The fifth-place finish for the Lady Bulldogs at the SEC Championships tied MSU's best finish to date which occurred in 2006.

Also in 2010, Franks coached sophomores Renee Masterson and Greenwell on their way to earning all-SEC and all-Region accolades; along with senior Adam Lenz as he earned all-SEC honors.

In the past four seasons, Franks has tutored the MSU men's distance squads to breaking four school records (indoor 3,000m, outdoor 10,000m, 4x1500-meter relay and 4x800-meter relay), and moving into the MSU all-time ranks in steeplechase, 10,000-, 5,000-, 3,000- and 1500-meter runs, distance medley relay.

Prior to returning to Starkville, Franks spent five years at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University). While at SMS, Franks served as head cross country coach for the Bears and won three Missouri Valley Conference women's titles. His women's teams finished in the top four at the

NCAA Midwest Regional's during his last three years and his men's squads finished in the top half of the conference during all five seasons. During the track and field season, the Bears captured three indoor and outdoor league championships on the women's side.

Franks was a three-time MVC Coach of the Year in women's cross country. During the 2002-03 season, he was also a part of the first SMS squad since 1993-94 to win the league's coveted Triple Crown championships in cross country and both indoor and outdoor track and field.

Franks was also a graduate assistant at MSU under Al Schmidt during the 1998-99 season. While an assistant, he developed training programs for distance runners, coordinated team travel, recruiting, and meet administration.

While running for the Maroon and White, Franks was considered MSU's top distance runner and was named to the Southeastern Conference's Academic Honor Roll three times. He currently ranks fourth on MSU's all-time list in the indoor 3000-meter run.

Franks is a 1998 MSU graduate with a teaching and coaching degree. He received his master's degree in sports administration from MSU in August 2009.

The Tupelo, Miss., native was a four-year letter winner at Tupelo High School and was named an all-American in cross country his senior season. A state champion in both cross country and the two-mile run, he was named an all-State selection three times during his track and field career at THS.

He and his wife, the former Meggan Hodge, were married in December 2007. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter named Madison, in October 2010 and their second child, son Patrick, was born in August 2014.

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