Needing a coach to come in and turn around the Central High Bronchos boys basketball program, Coach Kent Franz was that guy. Now, he leaves his post after three years to move closer to family.
Bronchos basketball went into the 2017-2018 season looking for their first win since the end of the 2015-2016 season and brought in Franz who moved from Southeast Oklahoma to Southwest Oklahoma.
Franz, who spent over 20 years as a college coach, brought the team’s first win in two years in the winter of 2018. He hoped to take the next step but felt it was necessary to be closer to his family.
“It is a very difficult decision to make but ultimately I had to come to terms with,” Franz said. “My parents are in their early 80s in Kansas and their health is not great. Each time something happens with them it falls on my brother who lives 20 minutes away in Wichita to have to deal with it and here I am five hours away. My ultimate goal is to try and get closer to my parents and I certainly didn’t want to leave Central High and I loved it there and they were nothing but great to me from the day I walked in the doors three years ago.”
Thanking the players, administration, teachers, support staff and everyone in the Central High community, Franz said he will miss everyone terribly.
In his first season with the Bronchos, the team earned five victories and in each year grew their victory total from the year before. Franz was proud of the progress made at Central High.
“The program was not in great shape and I knew that going in and that was part of the exciting part of the challenge was to try and build something that everybody at Central High could be proud of,” Franz said. “We made progress and I feel like we made progress over these three years, if not for some key injuries here or there in two of the three years, I feel like we would have been better off.”
While the program is in great shape, Franz said one of his big regrets is knowing he won’t be able to finish the job. He does, however, know whoever takes over will have immediate success.
“That will be one of my biggest regrets is that I won’t be able to finish the job that all of us started and the kids were wonderful and they bought in and they want to win,” he said. “When I first got there they just didn’t know how to and didn’t know the importance of work on the practice floor in the weight room and doing things with discipline that are required for you to be successful. I hope that we started them down a path where they understand that and hopefully will continue. Whoever comes in after me will continue to build on that so they can have the success they deserve.”
While Central High will begin the search in the next couple of months to find a replacement for Franz, he was happy to spend the time in southwest Oklahoma and is grateful for the people he met.
“I spent most of my adult life at Ada in southeastern Oklahoma there at East Central and I always had heard that there were great people out here in southwestern Oklahoma and that couldn’t be more of the truth,” Franz said. “These people from the day I got here accepted me, supported me and supported what we were trying to accomplish and for that I will be forever grateful. Just a wonderful place and as I said before, if it wasn’t for the situation up north I wouldn’t be doing this. I would be glad and honored to stay here and try to finish the job, but unfortunately it isn’t going to work out that way.”