Adam Maser, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
HASTINGS – Hastings College Athletic Director B.J. Pumroy announced today that Matt Franzen will return to Hastings College as the head football coach after spending the past 13 years at Doane University.
Franzen was named Doane’s athletic director in July 2018, and prior to that he was the head coach of the Tiger’s football program from 2007 to 2017 where he compiled a 65-49 record. He was an assistant coach at Hastings College for more than a decade before moving to Doane.
“We are excited to have secured Matt Franzen as our next head football coach,” Pumroy said. “Franzen has earned a strong reputation from his time as a coach and administrator at Doane and his previous positions at Hastings College. I believe this background, as well as his hunger to get back into coaching, puts our program on the right path to regain its competitiveness on the field. Our program is performing well in the classroom and on campus, and with Franzen’s leadership we expect to perform better on game days.”
In 2007, Franzen took over a Doane program that was 1-9 in the season prior to his arrival which improved to four wins in his first season. Under his leadership the Tigers made steady progress and in 2011 the team was ranked in the NAIA top 25 poll. He earned GPAC Coach of the Year in 2014 and also took Doane to the NAIA playoffs in 2015 and 2016. He was also named the Omaha World-Herald Midlands Coach of the year for 2015-16.
“Returning to the sideline feels like the right move for me, and Hastings College is a school that I am very familiar with,” Franzen said. “I don’t regret moving from head coach to athletic director at Doane, but I realized in the fall of 2019 that the opportunity to directly impact so many young people was pulling on me more than ever. I’ve enjoyed most of the AD experience but have been envious watching the coaches I’ve hired develop their programs. I feel I’m better prepared now than I was even three years ago when I was still coaching, in part because overseeing all of our programs has solidified in my own mind what I believe works and doesn’t work. My daughters miss being coach’s kids and my wife is also in support of this move.”
Prior to taking over at Doane, Franzen spent 11 years as an assistant coach at Hastings College. He was part of a coaching staff that coached an undefeated 1998 and 1999 regular season while the Broncos picked up its second playoff victory in 1999 by defeating Bethany 45-23. During his time at Hastings, the Broncos had just two losing seasons.
“During his time at Hastings, coach Franzen worked under three successful head coaches,” said Pumroy. “He has been a part of our last conference championship teams and three playoff appearances here and five overall. His track record is such that we know we have someone who can continue the successful cultural areas of our program while bringing us success on game days.”
Franzen said his initial goals include meeting with players and the coaching staff.
“I want to introduce myself and my expectations to the team,” he said. “I don’t feel like a complete overhaul is needed with this program. I watched several games this year and there is talent here. I believe that I can offer some philosophical changes that will move things in a positive direction.”
Originally from Lincoln, Franzen was an offensive lineman during his playing days at Doane earning First Team All-NAIA honors his senior year (1993). Franzen earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Doane in 1994 and master of arts in teaching and physical education from Hastings College in 1999.
“The other area that I want to address is in-state recruiting,” Franzen said. “I believe that the staff has done a tremendous job recruiting out-of-state student-athletes and that is something that we need to continue. However, Hastings football has not had a solid presence in Nebraska recruiting over the past few years. I feel that my contacts and relationships within the Nebraska high school coaching ranks will help us to once again become a great option for football student-athletes from the area who want to continue at a premier in-state school and program.”
Along with his degree and history at Hastings College, Franzen’s wife Lacey (Beemer) graduated from Hastings College in 2003 with bachelor of music performance and in 2005 with a master of arts in teaching. The Franzens have two daughters, Anna (10) and Cora (7). Lacey currently is the vocal music teacher at Crete (Nebraska) Public schools for grades 6-12.
Franzen will officially begin duties at Hastings on December 7.