Doane University changes Director of Athletics and football head coach

Doane University has promoted Tigers head football coach, Matt Franzen, to Director of Athletics, replacing Jill McCartney, who is leaving to take a similar position at Kenyon College in Ohio.

Franzen, who will direct the overall administration and operations of Doane University’s 22-athletic teams, has served as the Tigers head football coach since 2007.

He earned Great Plains Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2014, and led the Tigers into the NAIA playoffs in 2015 and 2016.

“For me the athletic director thing was a fit,” said Franzen. “It happened maybe a little earlier than I thought it might. I think I still have plenty of good years coaching in me, but the opportunity came along right now.”

Franzen’s first action as the new Director of Athletics was promoting the Tigers defensive coordinator, Chris Bessler, to head football coach.

Bessler, who has served as Doane’s defensive coordinator the past eleven years, becomes the 33rd head coach in program history, and only the fourth since 1984.

“I would say that the first thing is, the goal we need to [accomplish], is to get our coaching staff in place,” said Bessler. “There is going to be some switching around a little bit, but I think the goals right away are to continue the academic success. The number one goal of kids coming here to Doane is to graduate in four years.”

Bessler is a 1995 graduate of Doane University, competing for the Tigers in football, baseball, and track and field.

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