Louis Franklin hired as South Tahoe football coach
A new face is planning to usher in a new era for South Tahoe football beginning next fall. Louis Franklin was hired as head coach of the Vikings’ program late last week, ending the school’s two-month search for a new coach.
“Coach Franklin is an enthusiastic educator with experience building successful football programs at small schools,” South Tahoe principal Chad Houck said. “He brings extensive knowledge coupled with a desire to work to make the school and the community proud of the athletes at STHS.”
Franklin comes to South Tahoe from Tokay High (Lodi, Calif.), where he spent eight seasons as head coach at his alma mater. He went 38-46 overall, including a 22-11 mark with three straight CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I postseason appearances from 2012-14.
“I’m excited to get up there and get this thing going — I think it’s going to be special and it’s going to be a great ride,” Franklin said. “It’s a new chapter in my life, it’s the next challenge and I’m pretty excited to get up there and start on it.”
Franklin replaces Kevin Hennessee, who went 14-43 in six seasons as head coach at STHS — the Vikings’ best campaign under Hennessee was a 5-5 mark in 2012 and they went 2-8 last season. The 33-year-old is the 14th head coach in South Tahoe program history and was one of five candidates to interview for the Vikings’ vacancy.
“The interview team represented many stakeholder groups from the school and community, and brought diverse perspectives to the process,” Houck said. “There is no doubt in my mind that coach Franklin was a top choice and an excellent outcome to the process.”
“At STHS we don’t fear taking a bold approach to responding to a challenge and this most definitely qualifies,” Vikings athletic director Tony Sunzeri said. “We are dedicated in our pursuit of changing the entire culture of this program and athletics in general — and that’s what (this) announcement signifies.”
Prior to coaching the Tigers, Franklin was the co-offensive coordinator at Weston Ranch High in Stockton, Calif.. He played collegiately at Saint Mary’s College of California after graduating from Tokay in 2000.
“We are confident coach Franklin is the right person to change the culture of Viking football — he is recognizing and embracing the tremendous opportunities that exist in this unique community to help us make a lasting change,” Sunzeri said.
Currently the athletic director and golf coach at Tokay, Franklin will remain in Lodi until its school year ends in late May. He will also teach special education next fall at STHS, and is moving to South Lake Tahoe with his wife Sara, son Tyler and daughters Gabi, Grace and Stella.
Franklin’s hiring ends a process that started in November following the 2014 season. Along with three other fall sports, the football head coaching position was opened Feb. 13 — vacancies for boys soccer, girls tennis and boys cross country are expected to be filled in the coming weeks.
“Our selection process was purposefully timed to coincide with certificated vacancies for next school year, so that candidates from outside our community could potentially be offered full-time employment with the coaching position,” Houck said. “A team of administrators screened the potential candidates and selected a small number to interview.”
South Tahoe opens the 2015 season Aug. 28 against El Dorado (Placerville, Calif.) in Viking Stadium.
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