Ed Franks

February 26, 1948 - March 08, 2021

Henry Edwin Franks was born February 26, 1948 and raised in Brilliant, Alabama to parents Henry Hill Franks and Jane Gregg Franks. The oldest of four boys, Ed graduated from Brilliant High School in 1966.

He then attended and graduated from Florence State University in 1970, where he played football. He completed his master's degree at Alabama A&M. 

Ed had a distinguished coaching career that spanned from 1970 to 2004. His career began at Dixie Junior High, followed by Gardendale High School, Erwin High School, Gilmore Bell High School, and then a return to Gardendale. 

Through the years, he coached not only wrestling, but also football and golf. The first wrestling match he ever saw, he was coaching. He led his wrestling teams to state titles and coached numerous individuals to state championships. He coached the first three boys that were four-time state champions in the state of Alabama, one of which was four years undefeated. 

He was an inducted into the Marion County Sports Hall of Fame for football. 

He met his wife, Patricia, in Gardendale, Alabama. They were married there on November 21, 1973, and spent the rest of their lives there. She was as much in love with the sport of wrestling as he was for their 47 year marriage. They were big fans of Auburn football and supporters of the UNA Lions football team. They raised one daughter, Tara. She and her husband, Chris, have three children: Montanna, McKenna and Cooper. 

Coach passed away February 4, 2021.  He made a tremendous impact on numerous students, athletes and their families, as well as fellow coaches throughout the years. 

Accepting this award today on behalf of Coach Franks is Coach Tripp Otis and Coach Franks’ grandson, Cooper Darty.

Tripp and his family were lifelong friends of Coach Franks. Tripp wrestled for Coach Franks at Gardendale High School. Coach Franks instilled a love of coaching into Tripp who is currently the head wrestling coach at Jasper High School. 

Cooper is currently a sophomore at Hoover High School, where he wrestles, plays football and baseball.


Lifetime Service to Wrestling

Our Mission: To honor the sport of wrestling by preserving its history, recognizing extraordinary individual achievements, and inspiring future generations