entering his 34th season as coach of Washington and Lee's wrestling
program, Gary Franke continues to produce talented, winning wrestlers
Fifteen times in his career, Franke's teams have finished with winning
records. He has coached W&L to more wrestling victories than any
other coach in school history with 172 wins. Along with the winning
seasons, his teams won three Old Dominion Athletic Conference titles.
Through the years, Franke's wrestlers have had great individual success,
too. He has coached nine academic All-Americans in the last 20 years
as well as one NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winner. Franke also
coached the first Division III All-American in W&L wrestling history,
an honor earned by Rich Redfoot in 1989.
In addition to his responsibilities as wrestling coach, Franke also
coached the men's tennis team from 1979 through 2000. In 1988, he
coached W&L to the NCAA Division III national tennis championship,
the first national championship in school history. He also holds the rank of associate
professor of physical education at the University.
A native of Minnesota, Franke is a 1971 graduate of Mankato State
University. At Mankato, Franke compiled a school-record 32-match winning
streak as a 118-pound wrestler. Following graduation, Franke served
as an assistant coach at Army. He joined the W&L staff in the
summer of 1973 as head wrestling coach and assistant trainer.
Gary, his wife Linda, their daughter Kara Rae and son Ryan make their
home in Lexington.