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Franco staying as Altoona football coach

ALTOONA -- Altoona Area High School head football coach John Franco will not return to Tyrone High School to take the same position, mostly because the Golden Eagles never offered him the head coaching position.

Franco, speaking to 6 Sports on Tuesday, said he would have listened to an offer from his former school, but when Tyrone told him he would have to apply for the heading coaching position, he chose to remain at Altoona.

Franco coached Tyrone from 1994-2011, leading the Golden Eagles to state championship appearances twice; winning in 1999, and finishing runner-up in 2011. Franco was replaced by Steve Guthoff, who resigned in January.

Franco told 6 Sports he was approached by Guthoff and some of his former assistant coaches about returning to coach the Golden Eagles.

"I felt like I had to listen to Tyrone out of my respect for them," Franco said. He added an offer "would have needed to be worth my while" to leave Altoona, where he has coached since 2012.

Franco approached the Altoona school board in January after he was approached by his former coaches, saying there was a possibility Tyrone might propose a coaching offer.

"They were incredibly supportive," Franco said of the school board. "They said 'You should listen. Do what's best for you and your family.'"

Franco said he informed the school board of his intentions to stay at Altoona last weekend, and that he wouldn't listen to any offers from Tyrone if they were to occur.

"I want to see if we can get this moving," Franco said of leading the Mountain Lions football program. "We're going in the right direction. We can become a major factor again."

In Franco's two years at Altoona, the Mountain Lions have compiled a 6-13 record, including winning just two games in 2013.

Altoona is in the midst of winter workouts -- "Business as usual" as Franco calls it, who added the reports surrounding his return to Tyrone were "much ado about nothing."

"We need to keep our mouths shut," Franco said. "And get back to being a successful program."


 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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