Frank Gansz
Biographical details
Born(1938-11-22)November 22, 1938
Altoona, Pennsylvania
DiedApril 27, 2009(2009-04-27) (aged 70)
Dallas, Texas
Playing career
1957–1959Navy
Position(s)Center, linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1964–1966Air Force (assistant)
1968Colgate (assistant)
1969–1972Navy (assistant)
1973Oklahoma State (WR)
1974Army (OC)
1975Oklahoma State (WR)
1976–1977UCLA (OL)
1978San Francisco 49ers (TE/ST)
1979–1980Cincinnati Bengals (TE/ST)
1981–1982Kansas City Chiefs (TE/ST)
1983–1985Philadelphia Eagles (TE/ST)
1986Kansas City Chiefs (ST)
1987–1988Kansas City Chiefs
1989–1993Detroit Lions (ST)
1994–1996Atlanta Falcons (OC)
1997–1999St. Louis Rams (ST)
2000–2001Jacksonville Jaguars (ST)
2008SMU (ST)
Head coaching record
Overall8–22–1
Accomplishments and honors
Awards
2× NFL Special Teams Coach of the Year (1989, 1999)

Frank Gansz (November 22, 1938 – April 27, 2009) was an American football coach whose career spanned nearly 40 years. He served as the head coach for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL) from 1987 to 1988, compiling a record of 8–22–1.

Early life

A native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, Gansz graduated in 1960 from the United States Naval Academy, where he played college football as a center and linebacker.[1][2]

College career

At the college level, Gansz served as an assistant at Colgate, Oklahoma State, SMU, Army, UCLA, Air Force, and Navy.

He later claimed in pro media guides that he served as the assistant to the athletic director, assistant football coach, head freshman coach and recruiting coordinator at Navy, his alma mater from 1969 to 1972, although he was actually described as an assistant coach and football recruiting coordinator by the Academy.

On February 20, 2008, Gansz came out of retirement to join SMU as its special teams coach under head coach June Jones, with whom he had worked in Atlanta and Detroit.

Pro career

In January 1986, Gansz was named assistant head coach and special teams coach for the Kansas City Chiefs. He took over as head coach of the Chiefs in January 1987 after John Mackovic was fired. In his first year, a strike-shortened season, he finished 4–11. Despite this, he was kept on as coach for the 1988 season. They proceeded to go 4–11–1. In January 1989, Gansz was fired and replaced by Marty Schottenheimer.

Once called "the best special teams coach ever" by former NFL head coach Dick Vermeil, Gansz twice earned special teams coach of the year honors, including 1999 when he helped the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl victory.

He retired as an NFL coach in 2001 after coaching in the league for 24 seasons, including stops in San Francisco, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta and Jacksonville.

Legacy

Gansz was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2009, the United States Naval Academy and Southern Methodist University jointly created the Gansz Trophy which is to be awarded to the winner of any football game between the two institutions. Navy won the first four trophies, winning from 2009 to 2011 and again in 2015. The teams are currently scheduled to play every year from 2015 onwards as members of the American Athletic Conference West Division.[3]

Controversy

At the time he was hired as a head coach in 1987, Gansz had claimed that he was a jet fighter pilot with experience in combat missions. However, reports revealed that he was not actually stationed as a pilot, nor was he involved with the Air Force in combat missions, and the revelations attracted scrutiny late in that year. He also claimed to have worked as a commercial pilot for Continental Airlines in 1967 and 1968; it was revealed that he actually worked there for seven months in 1967, mostly spent in flight training.[4]

Personal life and death

After retirement, he lived in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife Barbara, though he continued to speak at colleges and clinics around the country. Gansz died in Dallas on April 27, 2009, from complications following knee replacement surgery. He is interred at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.[5] Gansz's son, Frank Jr., is a special teams coach with the SMU Mustangs

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
KC 1987 4 11 0 .267 5th in AFC West
KC 1988 4 11 1 .281 5th in AFC West
KC Total 8 22 1 .274
Total 8 22 1 .274

References

  1. ^ "Former Kansas City Chiefs coach Frank Gansz dead at 70".
  2. ^ "NAVYSPORTS.COM - The Official Web Site of Naval Academy Varsity Athletics - Navy Travels to SMU for AAC Regular-Season Finale". Archived from the original on 2016-11-24.
  3. ^ "SMU and Navy to play for Gansz Trophy". October 7, 2009.
  4. ^ "RECORDS SHOW CHIEFS COACH`S CLAIMS A BIT EXAGGERATED – Chicago Tribune".
  5. ^ "Frank V. Gansz". FindAGrave.com. Retrieved November 21, 2015.