Razorback football coach Bielema hires new director of recruiting
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E.K. Franks has been named Arkansas’ director of recruiting, head football coach Bret Bielema announced Wednesday (April 9). Franks comes to Fayetteville with 10 years of collegiate experience, most recently serving as associate head coach and running backs coach at Southeastern Louisiana.
Franks has coached or trained multiple professional athletes, including Wes Welker, Terence Newman and Darren Sproles, and also has extensive recruiting ties to Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas and Mississippi. He worked with Coach Bielema during stints at Wisconsin and Kansas State.
“I have known E.K. Franks for more than a decade and can’t wait to see the positive effect he will bring to our Razorback family,” Bielema said in the UA statement. “He will lead our recruiting department on a variety of different levels to help bring Arkansas football to the highest level of success.”
Franks brings a keen eye for talent and a diverse background to the Razorbacks. He has experience as an assistant coach, strength coach, academic counselor and director of minority relations. In addition, he is active in youth programs and community service outreach, serving on the board of the Kansas-based non-profit S.A.F.E., Success Achieved in Future Environments, which helps mentor youth through athletics.
At Southeastern Louisiana, he tutored Xavier Roberson to multiple All-America honors as a sophomore running back and kick returner. In 2012, Roberson and Rasheed Harrell teamed to make up one of the top freshmen running back duos in the country under Franks’ leadership. Before Southeastern Louisiana, Franks spent two seasons as defensive line coach and head strength coach at Delta State. There, he coached a pair of first-team All-Gulf South Conference selections in 2011.
Franks was a defensive graduate assistant at Wisconsin for two seasons while Coach Bielema was the Badgers’ defensive coordinator. Prior to Wisconsin, Franks coached the defensive line at Texas State for the 2003 season and was an academic counselor and director of minority relations at Kansas State from 2001-2003.
His first collegiate coaching experience came at Kansas State, where he was a strength and conditioning coach for the football team during the 2000 season and 2001 offseason. His first coaching position was at Heritage High School in Oklahoma City, where he tutored defensive backs and was a strength coach for the school from 1996-2000.
The Wellington, Kan., native earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Oklahoma in 2000 and a master’s degree in adult education from Kansas State in 2002. Prior to completing his degree at Central Oklahoma, Franks was a wrestler at Oklahoma and a defensive back at Missouri State.